Taking Risks in Your Career

Format
Let's Talk Science

How does this align with my curriculum?

Students learn about different ways that people take risks in their careers.

Summary

  • Students will learn that career-related risks are not only physical and might also include creating a new innovation or working in a new environment 
  • Students will collaborate with their peers to analyze video career profiles
  • Students will reflect on the importance of taking career-related risks for individuals and our society.
  • Students will use evidence from a variety of sources to justify their opinions

Setting the Stage

All workers should take steps to stay safe at work. However, some careers naturally put workers in more risky situations. By stepping out of their comfort zone and into untested waters, these people may make new discoveries or help others. Learning about the ways that people take risks in their careers helps students realize the importance of developing their own risk-taking abilities. Students may also start to consider what types of risks they would personally be comfortable with in their future careers. In some careers, people may be taking risks by jeopardizing their physical safety by travelling into space, the deep sea, or a burning building. In other cases, people may take risks by making brand new discoveries or trying out a new role. All of these types of risks can help people find meaning in their career and contribute to society. 

In this lesson, students brainstorm different careers that may involve taking risks. Next, students watch several video career profiles and identify the ways people take risks in their careers. Finally, students share their reflections through a Graffiti Wall activity. 

This is lesson 1 of 2 in a set that can be used sequentially or as standalone lessons. The suggested sequence for completing these lessons is:

  • Taking Risks in Your Career
    How Can I Take Responsible Risks?

Materials & Preparation

Low Technology Option

  • Four pieces of chart paper, each with one of the following statements. 
    • Taking risks at work always involves working in situations that are physically dangerous.
    • Taking risks is part of a meaningful career. 
    • People should always stay within their comfort zone at work. 
    • Taking risks at work can help other people.
  • Sticky notes 

Technology-enabled Option

  • Access to the Taking Risks Google Jamboard
    • Note: Before the lesson, teachers should make a copy of the Career Sector Sort Jamboard for their class. To make a copy, click on the three dots in the top right corner of the Jamboard page and select “Make a Copy.”
  • Computers or tablets with internet access (1 per pair or small group)
  • Taking Risks: Career Profile Note Catcher Reproducible (1 per student) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy

What To Do

Part 1: Exploring Risky Careers

  • Teachers could begin this lesson by informing students that there are lots of ways that people take risks in their careers. Some people take physical risks. Others take risks by experimenting with new ideas or ways of doing things.
  • Teachers could organize students in pairs or small groups and give them the task of developing a list of careers that might involve taking risks. 
    • Teachers could point out that many careers involve taking risks. This includes careers that involve physical risks such as firefighting, working underwater or race car driving. Teachers should also point out that people who design new inventions or pursue a career that others didn’t think they were capable of also take risks. These risks are associated with taking chances, putting yourself “out there” or putting yourself in a situation where your mistakes could be seen by your peers or have the possibility of losing money.
  • Once students have brainstormed several careers that involve risk taking, teachers could tell students that taking responsible risks can help us learn and grow as people and a community. Teachers could tell students that they will be learning more about people who take risks in their careers and thinking about how these risks help people. 
  • Teachers could model this process using the video profile of Anna Sabucco from Let’s Talk Science with the class. Teachers could then model recording thoughts on the Taking Risks: Career Profile Note Catcher reproducible. 
    • Teachers could point out that Sabucco took a risk by opening her own business in an industry generally dominated by men. 
    • Teachers could ask students how it helps our society for a woman to work in a traditionally male dominated industry like auto-repair. Why might it be important to have opportunities that are open to everyone regardless of their gender, race, or other factors?
  • Teachers could provide students with the Taking Risks: Career Profile Note Catcher reproducible. Working in pairs or groups, students will view the profile videos and record their thoughts. Teachers should encourage students to think broadly about the types of risks people take in their careers. 

Part 2: Graffiti Wall

  • Once students have watched the videos and recorded their notes, teachers could use the Graffiti learning strategy to allow students to share and consolidate their learning.
  •  Teachers could provide students with the statements for discussion. 
  • If appropriate technology is available, teachers could share the Taking Risks Google Jamboard with students. 
  • Alternatively, teachers could post chart paper with the following four statements around the room. Students walk around the room and respond to each statement by writing their ideas on sticky notes and putting them on the chart paper.
    • Taking risks at work always involves working in situations that are physically dangerous.
    • Taking risks at work can help other people.
    • People should always stay within their comfort zone at work.
    • Taking risks is part of a meaningful career. 
  • In the first round of the graffiti walk, students respond to the statements, using evidence from the career profiles to justify their thinking. Students are encouraged to express their agreement or disagreement with each statement by writing their thoughts on a sticky note (paper or virtual).
    • Teachers could model expressing an opinion and justifying it with evidence from a career profile video. 
  • In the second round, students read their peers’ responses to the statements. Students use a different colour of sticky notes (paper or virtual) to respond to a few of their peers with questions or comments. 
  • To conclude the lesson and to help students consolidate their learning, teachers could lead a discussion about what students have learned about taking risks in careers. Teachers could read aloud some of the students' responses to the questions. Teachers could also use the following discussion questions. 
    • Were you surprised by the types of risks people take as part of their career?
    • Would you be interested in pursuing any of these careers? Why or why not?
    • What’s the difference between a responsible and irresponsible risk at work? Are all risks good? How do you know if something is too risky?

Details

Assessment

  • Teachers could assess students’ ability to analyze and make inferences from video content based on their responses to the Taking Risks: Career Profile Note Catcher reproducible. 
  • Teachers could assess students' understanding of the importance of taking career related risks based on their responses during the Graffiti Wall activity and group discussion. 

Assessment

  • Teachers could assess students’ ability to analyze and make inferences from video content based on their responses to the Taking Risks: Career Profile Note Catcher reproducible. 
  • Teachers could assess students' understanding of the importance of taking career related risks based on their responses during the Graffiti Wall activity and group discussion. 

Downloads

Taking Risks: Career Profile Note Catcher [Google doc] [PDF]

Downloads

Taking Risks: Career Profile Note Catcher [Google doc] [PDF]