What’s your Plan B?

Format
AB BC NS MB NB NL NT NU ON PE QC SK YT
Let's Talk Science
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How does this align with my curriculum?

Students will recognize the importance of flexibility and adaptability when it comes to career choices.
Students will recognize that previous education is an asset that provides for great flexibility and adaptability.

Setting the Stage:

Not all students have a clear idea of what career path they intend to follow after they graduate. For those who do, they are determined to “be” something specific in the future. Sometimes they realize, after they have started a post-secondary program or started working in that area, that this career is not right for them.  

While it is very important for students to have a post-secondary plan in place, such plans should include a ‘Plan B’ to follow if their first choice does not work out for them. For example, a student, who wants to be a doctor but is not accepted to a medical school program, might want to consider other careers in health care. On the other hand, after working in an office setting, a person who really loves the outdoors and working with their hands might want to explore a career pathway that would lead to a career that satisfies these two preferences. 

Material & Preparation

  • Arrange for computer and internet access for students working in pairs or groups.
  • Download the What’s your plan B? Reproducible (1 per student) [Google Doc] [PDF]

What to Do

To work on this activity, students should be divided into groups of three or four. Each of these groups will be assigned a profile to analyze using a set of questions. Alternatively, this could be completed as an individual activity where students find a career profile in an area of interest. Note: some of the individuals, profiled in the Let’s Talk Science careersresource, do not indicate what their “Plan B” was.

Teachers should direct students to the Let’s Talk Science caeerwebsite where they will access the profile assigned to their group. Provide each student with a copy of the What’s your Plan B? BLM to use as they collect the relevant information from the profile.

For teachers’ convenience, the following profiles have been selected as examples that lend themselves to this specific activity. 

  • Kaylyn Roloson (completed a bachelor’s degree in Art; is now a skilled trades person)
  • Fred Sheppard (started out as a teacher; now works with Parks Canada as a park interpreter)
  • Dragan Lukic (started doing a physics degree; now works in the insurance business as an actuarial analyst)
  • Chase Oliver (worked in the oil & gas industry; completed an RV Technician program and now is manager of an RV Sales and Service company)
  • Patrick Leclair (graduated university with a major in Jazz Studies; is now a CADD technician)
  • Stephanie Good (originally wanted to be a veterinarian; now works with the Marine Stewardship Council developing policies and programs to help wildlife)
  • Jeffrey Cowen (graduated with a Bachelor of Arts; is now a firefighter)
  • Ben Sit (wanted to be a pastry chef; now works as a dietician)
  • Clarence Synard (wanted to be a social worker; became a carpenter and now runs a construction company)
  • Scot Ryan (worked as an accountant but wanted to be his own boss; is now a financial advisor)
  • Jackie Frampton (didn’t know what she wanted to do; became an electrician and now has her own business)
  • Murray Clayton (started university studying Fine Arts and graduated with a degree in history; now works as a Forensic Anthropologist)
  • Kelly White (started out studying history and fine arts at university planning to be a teacher; now a registered massage therapist)

A sample of the information students should collect from each profile is provided in the Sample Student Response section below.    

Once finished, each group should share their profile findings with the class and the lesson(s) that can be learned by studying this individual. Teachers could ask which individual demonstrated the greatest change between their Plan A and Plan B career choices. What skills, education, interests, etc. do students feel helped these individuals make good Plan B choices? If completed as an individual activity, students could join with a partner and share their findings and thoughts. 

As a concluding activity, students could create a journal entry in which they reflect on their own career plans and what they would do if they could not follow this plan. What do they need in order to create a good Plan B?

Details

Sample Student Response 

Key information for selected profiles

  Current Position Original Plan Programs Studied Reason to change
original plan
Advice to Others
Fred Sheppard Visitor Experience Product Development Officer for Parks Canada To become a teacher B.Ed., Master of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads He enjoyed the outdoors and being active Be open to possibilities, surround yourself with positive people, and find a couple of mentors. Sometimes lead, sometimes follow.
Stephanie Good Senior fisheries certification manager at the Marine Stewardship Council Veterinarian Bachelor of Science in Zoology, Masters in Library and Information Studies While working at a bookstore, she took an interest in how people collect and use information. Think outside the box. Take time to try out any fields you are interested in.
Ben Sit Registered Dietitian Pastry Chef Nutrition and Food program at Ryerson He fell in love with nutrition and food. It also combined his love of culinary, nutrition, sports and athletics. Be true and honest to yourself.
Clarence Synyard Vice President, NCC Development Limited Social Worker He started doing an undergraduate program at university. After he worked as a carpenter for a while, he did a carpentry program at college.

He only went to university because he did not know what else to do. When he experienced working outdoors using carpentry he realized that was the type of work he wanted to do.

Get all the experience you can in every job that you do. Aim high – don’t be afraid to take risks. Give back to your community
Jackie Frampton Construction Electrician She had no idea what she wanted to do as a career. Camp Glow at the Women in Resource and Development and then pursued the electrical trade She was in a job that was not rewarding. If you struggle, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Chase Oliver Manager, RV Sales and Service

Worked in the oil and gas industry as a well tester.

Completed an RV Technicians program

He wanted a job that would allow him to spend more time with his family.

When you decide on something, give it all you’ve got.
Kelly White Registered Massage Therapist Teacher of history and fine arts. RMT Program She realized that the program she was studying was not something she was really interested in. Regardless of what career you aspire to, work hard. Develop your organization skills. And ask questions – lots of them!

 

Sample Student Response 

Key information for selected profiles

  Current Position Original Plan Programs Studied Reason to change
original plan
Advice to Others
Fred Sheppard Visitor Experience Product Development Officer for Parks Canada To become a teacher B.Ed., Master of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads He enjoyed the outdoors and being active Be open to possibilities, surround yourself with positive people, and find a couple of mentors. Sometimes lead, sometimes follow.
Stephanie Good Senior fisheries certification manager at the Marine Stewardship Council Veterinarian Bachelor of Science in Zoology, Masters in Library and Information Studies While working at a bookstore, she took an interest in how people collect and use information. Think outside the box. Take time to try out any fields you are interested in.
Ben Sit Registered Dietitian Pastry Chef Nutrition and Food program at Ryerson He fell in love with nutrition and food. It also combined his love of culinary, nutrition, sports and athletics. Be true and honest to yourself.
Clarence Synyard Vice President, NCC Development Limited Social Worker He started doing an undergraduate program at university. After he worked as a carpenter for a while, he did a carpentry program at college.

He only went to university because he did not know what else to do. When he experienced working outdoors using carpentry he realized that was the type of work he wanted to do.

Get all the experience you can in every job that you do. Aim high – don’t be afraid to take risks. Give back to your community
Jackie Frampton Construction Electrician She had no idea what she wanted to do as a career. Camp Glow at the Women in Resource and Development and then pursued the electrical trade She was in a job that was not rewarding. If you struggle, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Chase Oliver Manager, RV Sales and Service

Worked in the oil and gas industry as a well tester.

Completed an RV Technicians program

He wanted a job that would allow him to spend more time with his family.

When you decide on something, give it all you’ve got.
Kelly White Registered Massage Therapist Teacher of history and fine arts. RMT Program She realized that the program she was studying was not something she was really interested in. Regardless of what career you aspire to, work hard. Develop your organization skills. And ask questions – lots of them!

 

Assessment

  • Teachers could make anecdotal records of students’ participation in small group and whole class dicussions.

Assessment

  • Teachers could make anecdotal records of students’ participation in small group and whole class dicussions.

Downloads

What’s your plan B? Reproducible [Google Doc] [PDF]

Downloads

What’s your plan B? Reproducible [Google Doc] [PDF]