JA Career Success

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career-successProgram Overview

JA Career Success® equips students with the tools and skills required to earn and keep a job in high-growth career industriesThis new program covers the following key topics:

  • 4Cs: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
  • Strong soft skills.
  • Work priorities.
  • STEM and other high-growth industries.
  • Personal-brand and job-hunting tools—resumes, cover letters, interviews, and digital profiles.

Session Overviews  & Objectives 

Session One – Get Hired: Critical Thinking and Creativity

Overview: Students are introduced to the need to be work ready by developing the 4Cs skills that employers want from people entering the workforce. Students apply critical-thinking skills and creativity to solve problems in a real-life work scenario. Students are introduced to the elements of successful business start-ups, myths and facts about entrepreneurship, and early product development.


  • Use a problem-solving technique to solve personal and professional problems.
  • Apply critical-thinking skills to work-based problems.
  • Recognize that decisions made in the workplace have consequences.

Session Two – Get Hired: Communication and Conflict Management Skills

Overview: Students apply communication skills to resolve conflicts in work-based scenarios. Students will role-play conflicts and conflict management. They will explore behaviors that inflame conflict and behaviors that lead to a resolution.


  • Recognize common responses to conflict.
  • Apply conflict-management skills to resolve work-based issues.

Session Three – Get Hired: Collaboration and Creativity

Overview: Students practice collaboration—a 4Cs skill—by using a team-building model referred to as the GRPI model (Goals, Roles and Responsibilities, Processes, and Interpersonal Relationship Skills). The model describes the behaviors found in high-performance teams in the workplace.


  • Demonstrate collaboration with team members to accomplish work-based challenges.
  • Recognize the components of a high-performance team.

Session Four – Get Hired: Strong Soft Skills

Overview: Students will review soft skills that are in demand by employers and rate their own soft skills. They will use personal stories in a job-interview workshop to communicate these skills to a potential employer.


  • Identify soft skills that are in demand by employers.
  • Demonstrate personal soft skills in a mock interview.

Session Five – Know Your Work Priorities

Overview: Students learn that in the current workforce, people change jobs or careers several times over a lifetime. That means it is important to be prepared and adaptable. Students explore which of their priorities should be their anchors as they prepare to enter the working world.


  • Recognize the importance of being focused, proactive, and adaptable when exploring careers.
  • Rank work environment priorities as an anchor for further career planning decisions.

Session Six – Know Who’s Hiring

Overview: In groups, students analyze factors to consider when researching careers: skills learned through training and education; interests in various career clusters; and specific high-growth jobs and the requirements needed to earn them.


  • Analyze requirements needed for high-growth industries, such as those offering STEM-related jobs. (STEM=Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
  • Identify the education and training needed to be adaptable and competitive in the job market.

Session Seven – Know Your Personal Brand

Overview: Students work in teams to rate the personal brand of candidates applying for a job by comparing cover letters, resumes, and digital profiles of the candidates.


  • Explore how to hunt for a job and the tools needed.
  • Determine choices they can make to create a positive personal brand as they build their careers.

Program Basics

  • Includes a series of seven sessions recommended for high school students.
  • Average time for each session is 45 minutes.
  • Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 students.
  • In JA high school programs, students learn fundamental business and economic concepts, explore career interests and opportunities, and develop work-readiness skills.
  • Session-specific, student-friendly materials included to increase student interaction and emphasize JA’s experiential approach to learning.
  • Correlates well to state social studies, English, and math standards, as well as the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics.

Career Success enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

Concepts—Career clusters, Career planning, Career preparation, Collaboration, Communication, Conflict management, Critical thinking, Education and training, Employer expectations, High-growth jobs, High performance teams, Interests, Inventory and ordering, Job interviews, Job outlook, Job retention, Post-secondary options, Problem-solving techniques, Retail stocking, Skills, Soft skills, STEM, Technical skills, The 4Cs, Working priorities, Workplace Skills

Skills—Analyze data, Collaborative discussions, Conflict resolution, Communication, Competition, Creativity and innovation, Critical thinking, Decision making, Following written instructions, Formulating answers from personal experiences, Goal-setting, Identify behaviors, Interpersonal skills, Organizing information, Prioritizing, Problem solving, Research skills, Role playing, Self-assessment, Time management, Work collaboratively, Working in groups

Training Videos

Courtesy of Junior Achievement of South Dakota: