Career Night

Category: Developing Talents, Learning and Living the Gospel

Duration: 1 session
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Supplies: None
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Preparation:

  • At least two weeks in advance, find and call at least six women in your ward who work outside the home (or used to). Ask them to come and talk about their work for about 5 minutes and answer questions for about 5 minutes. Tell them that the girls love visual aids or something they can touch, but it’s not essential. You want to make this invitation as low pressure as possible!
  • Call/email the women a few days before to remind them to come!
Activity:
1. Arrange some chairs in a circle (or standard rows for larger groups),
2. Talk about how even if they plan on being a stay at home mom, chances are there will still be a part of their life when they will have the opportunity to work. This could be just after college and before kids, if they get married a little later than they expect, after the kids leave the home, or some moms choose to work in some capacity while they have kids in the house (and not necessarily full time). You could share your own personal example with this or invite the other women to include this in their time. (When I was their age, I always assumed I would be a SAHM full time. But after a few years I found my sanity severely tested and found it was better for the entire family if I worked outside the home for about ten hours a week. I was grateful that I got an education in a field that allowed for this to happen!)
3. Read this quote by Chieko Okazaki from October 1994 General Conference:

“Elder Howard W. Hunter, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, [said]: “There are impelling reasons for our sisters to plan toward employment also. We want them to obtain all the education and vocational training possible before marriage. If they become widowed or divorced and need to work, we want them to have dignified and rewarding employment. If a sister does not marry, she has every right to engage in a profession that allows her to magnify her talents and gifts.” 2 If anything, his counsel has become even more relevant in the almost twenty years that have passed as the national economy has made it increasingly difficult for one wage to support a family, as more mothers are left alone to raise their children, and as more women spend lengthy portions of their lives single. He is telling all of us to use the oar of study to prepare ourselves professionally for worthy and rewarding activities, including paid employment.”
  (Chieko N. Okazaki, “Rowing Your Boat,”  November 1994)
4. Have each woman take a turn talking about their career, followed by a Q&A session.
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More Ideas:
  • I recognize that stay-at-home moms are important, which is why the activity before this one we spent the whole session on homemaking and baby care. While you may be tempted to include a stay at home mom in your lineup for Career Night, I would recommend against this idea and cover that topic in a separate activity so as not to confuse the girls regarding the meaning of the word “career.”
  • Since it can be difficult for some girls to sit for this long period, we had a ten minute break in the middle for a healthy snack.
  • We had one lady come in who was a paralegal and she talked way over the girls’ heads. I (as the adult) asked a lot of questions in the Q&A period to clarify what she had said and bring it down to a simpler level.
  • If the girls aren’t asking many questions of the presenters, here are some for you to pose:
    • Is this career different from what you thought you would do when you were a girl?
    • What kind of education did you get for your job?
    • How important was getting a good education to the career you do?
    • Do you think learning how to work hard in your childhood helped you in your career as an adult?
    • What other types of jobs do people at your workplace have?
  • After this activity, you could ask the girls what careers they are interested in, and build some activities around their interests.
  • If appropriate (and the girls seem interested), ask one of the women for a tour of their workplace for another activity.
  • Pair this with a “College Night” activity where you invite local college students to talk about attending college and what they do in their major.
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