Career Education High Five

Something I learned in order to teach my students. . .

What Is The Difference Between Job, Occupation, and Career?
Often the terms job, occupation, and career are used interchangeably. In fact, they have very different meanings.

A job is work for which you receive pay.
Example: biologist at XYZ Biotice Company.

An occupation is a wide category of jobs with similar characteristics.
Example: physician, engineer, educator, or scientist.

A career is a lifetime journey of building and making good use of your skills, knowledge and experiences. It is the total of all events and relationships in our lives: family, friends, education, work, and leisure activities.

Career Education is part of the grade 9 PE course at my school. My students are doing an assignment on the High 5’s of Career Development. We talked about each section as a class and shared personal examples. It is good stuff, so when my girls were working on their assignment, I did one myself.

Career Education isn’t about a job, it is about your life. Here’s my assignment.

1. Change is Constant. To me this means that change happens in all areas of our life and it happens ALL THE TIME. It means that we need to be aware that things will change in our jobs and in our personal lives. Nothing stays the same. My life is full of change. Much of it change I don’t want, but change is constant and I can’t prevent it from happening. I have experienced change in my job. New curriculum and courses mean increased stress and a more demanding workload. The loss of my son, Tripp, has not only meant the loss of someone I love dearly, it has meant the loss of my plan. It has also meant that I am dealing with grief and the emotions I am experiencing are new and very different from anything I have ever experienced.

2. Follow Your Heart. I think this means that you don’t always need to make the practical choice. It encourages us to explore avenues that we have interest and passion in. I asked my students to tell me their dream job – if they didn’t have to worry about the how (how to get the job or how to pay the bills). My dream would be to teach 2 classes and prep the rest of the day. It excites me to think about the lessons I could plan and assessments I could come up with if I just had the time. I also think I could be a better mom – less tired and possible more inspired. I also think I would write a book.

3. Focus on the Journey. This means that we need to enjoy what we are doing on the way to our goals. We need to focus on what we are doing NOW. My blog has been instrumental to this. I am constantly reflecting on my day and assessing things in my life. I think that the reflection is helping me be a better mother, wife, friend, and teacher. What I do every single day matters.

4. Stay Learning. In every avenue of our lives there are things we can be learning. My list is plentiful. I want to learn about gardening, photography, writing, parenting, using technology in my classroom, and creating good evaluations. I want to improve on my running, bunting, and snowboarding. I want to learn techniques to help me with my grieving and to help me manage my life better. Learn. Learn. Learn.

5. Access Your Allies. This means that we can’t expect to have a wonderful career without enlisting the help of others. This year I have leaned on my friends and family more than ever. When Tripp died, my life didn’t stop – even though part of me wanted it to. So many people helped me and continue to help me manage my grief. I have also found a community online of other moms like me. It feels good to be fully understood. At work I am constantly turning to my colleagues to help me with my job. At home I turn to Hugh to help me with parenting. I am not alone.

I shared lots of this with my students, but nothing about Tripp. I wanted to share him, but the one time I tried to include him I got choked up and couldn’t say it out loud. Life is a journey on which I am constantly learning. Maybe next time I will be in a place to share one of the most important people in my life.


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