January 1984 // Volume 22 // Number 1 // Ideas at Work // 1IAW1

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4-H Focus on Getting a Job

To guide youth to explore careers and develop job-related skills, Extension agents in South Louisiana helped prosent a career education unit to senior 4-H Club members.

Jeanette Tucker
Associate Home Economist (4-H)
Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service
East Baton Rouge Parish
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Eleanor A. Kelley
Professor, School of
Home Economics and Agricultural
Experiment Station
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

To guide youth to explore careers and develop job-related skills, Extension agents in South Louisiana helped prosent a career education unit to senior 4-H Club members.

Planned in two phases, an impressions illustrated lecture was followed by a special interest meeting. First the illustrated Iecture, held during regular club meetings, focused on how first impressions influence others. The Washington P ost allowed us to tape the "Dear Kid" letter, reprinted in National 4-H News, July, 1978. We devoted slides to accompany it. The, letter, written by a high school teacher as if he were the "boss," told he "Kid" why he lost the job and another one got it . Attitude, appearance, knowledge of the firm, and general preparation such as having a Social Security card and knowing about references were some of the reasons

After the presentation, club members identified occupations of fictitious people based on word descriptions of their appearances. Then they identified characteristics of actual people from slides of individuals of diverse ages, races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and occupations. These activities generated discussons on how appearance influences one's ability to get a job.

Later the same month, a one day special interest meeting was held as a junior leadership activity. Each participant received a manual, "So YoU Want To Get A Job". The manual described how to begin to locate a job, how to impress the boss, preparing I or the interview, being well groomed, preparing for the first day of work, and behavior on the job. Learning aids included slides, flannel board visuals, sampIe resumes, and application forms. Participants evaluated themselves with a "Who Am I?" check sheet. They held mock interviews and selected appropriate attire from an array of garments.

Club members, especially those who were old enough for full-time employment, evaluated the unit positively. Only those who were especially interested attended the all-day ses. sion, so reactions to the special interest meeting were more positive than reactions to the first lecture. The smaller group in the second phase permitted more participation in each activity.

Although females expressed great. or interest in the unit at the end of the first , lecture, males ranked each aspect of the special interest meeting higher than the females did. Males evaluated three topics the highest: Roles and Work Roles, Dress for Interview, and Dress for Daily Work.

The first lecture helped identify club members who were interested in more information. However, the alI day session seemed to be too concentrated. Mini-sessions on preparations for the world of work might be more effective. Such sessions, perhaps during overnight camps and conferences, could be effective if presented to older, club members interested in work.

Many aspects of the unit are adaptable to a variety of audiences; for example, homemakers who are either entering the labor force for the first time, or reentering the labor force after a long absence, or displaced workers.