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Exploring Career Types

Exploring Career Types

Exploring Career Types (emalbas, iStockphoto)

Exploring Career Types

Exploring Career Types (emalbas, iStockphoto)

Let's Talk Science
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How does this align with my curriculum?

Students will recognize that there are many different ways to earn a living and that a ‘career’ does not necessarily have to be a 9 to 5 arrangement.
Students will recognize that different career types and job arrangements have their own positive and negative aspects.

Setting the Stage

For many students, their understanding of the different career types is limited to a wage-for-service arrangement or owning a business. This activity will allow them to develop a broader understanding of the different ways jobs actually exist and how a person can work at a job that does not follow the set time of a regular “9 to 5” job. 

Material & Preparation

  • Arrange for computer and internet access for students working in pairs or groups.
  • Students should be familiar with the characteristics of the following careers types: 
    Permanent/Temporary/ Full-Time Workers: Workers who work more than 35 hours for the majority of weeks in a work year.
    Seasonal Workers: Workers who work in industries that operate within specific seasons
    Agent-Broker Workers: Workers who often work evenings and weekends and usually are on call to suit the needs of their clients
    Contractual Workers: Workers who contract out their services to an employer for a specific period of time and /or for a specified amount for work.  The salary is agreed upon before the contract begins.
    Project-based Teamwork Workers: Workers who work in groups to complete a project.  Work is often organized on a group collaborative basis with each worker taking responsibility for an aspect of the project.
    Freelance Workers: Workers who are self-employed working in a profession or trade in which full-time employment by a single employer is also common.
    Consulting Workers: Workers who help companies to improve performance through analysis of existing problems and development of future plans, best practices, technology implementations, strategy development, etc.
    Entrepreneurship: Workers who start their own business by assuming the financial risk of the initiation, operation and management of the business.

  • Download the Exploring Career Types Reproducible (1 per student) [Google Doc] [PDF]

What to Do

Teachers could organize students into groups of two or three and provide each student with a copy of the Exploring Career Types Reproducible. Students will then use the Let’s Talk Science careers website to find the career profiles for the individuals listed below.  

Using their knowledge of career types, students will classify the career described in each career profile according to the various career types. They will also identify the pros and cons associated with each career type from the profiles. These pros and cons can also include their personal perspectives. 

After students have completed the table, teachers could use this as a means to introduce the importance of understanding the different job types that exist, such as seasonal work, brokers, contractual workers, etc. 

Teachers could lead students in a discussion as to which career type(s) they think will give the most flexibility for personal goals such as travel, the most job security, the greatest level of uncertainty, the best situation for stay-at-home moms/dads, etc.

Teachers can use this process to get students reflecting on what career type/job arrangement will suit their planned lifestyle. For example, if a student values having a flexible schedule, then perhaps being an entrepreneur would be a good fit versus being an agent/broker which is dependent on other peoples’ schedules.

After students have completed the Exploring Career Types Reproducible, teachers could then group students by the various job arrangements they have selected (e.g., all those who are interested in an entrepreneurial-type career could be grouped together, etc.). 

Alternatively, teachers could group students to form heterogeneous career interest groups. For example, a group could include a student interested in contractual work, a student interested in entrepreneurship, etc. Once in their respective groups, students could discuss their choices by sharing which job arrangements they chose and why. This can spark interest amongst their peers in an alternate job type because they may be looking at it from a new perspective. During discussions, students could add additional points to their Reproducible under advantages/disadvantages if any arise in the group discussion. The group discussion could also generate disadvantages that could be added to their Reproducible.

Selected Career Profiles

Permanent/Temporary/Full-Time Workers Michael Greene, Area Manager; Canadian Coast Guard (Transportation)
Seasonal Workers Victor Matos, Foreman Concrete Forming (Skilled Trades & Vocations)
Agent-Broker Workers Scot Ryan, Financial Adviser (Business & Financial) — and Entrepreneur
Contractual Workers Ethan Martin, Welder (Skilled Trades & Vocation)
Project-based Teamwork Workers Robert Thirsk, Former CSA Astronaut (Space),
Curtis Jackson, Plumber (Skilled trades & Vocations)
Freelance Workers Anais Kassardjian, Freelance Webmaster (Information & Computer Systems)
Consulting Workers Emily Jobson, Environmental Specialist (Environment & Natural Resources)
Norbert Lake, Chiropractor and Healthcare Consultant (Health)
Entrepreneurship Becki Peckham, Graphic Designer and Photographer; Bold Creative (Arts & Language)

Note: some profiles may fit several categories.


  • Teachers could use the completed Reproducible as a formative assessment tool to understand where students’ interests lie and to help direct them to other resources of interest. 

Exploring Career Types Reproducible [Google Doc] [PDF]


  • Teachers could use the completed Reproducible as a formative assessment tool to understand where students’ interests lie and to help direct them to other resources of interest. 


Exploring Career Types Reproducible [Google Doc] [PDF]