Career Explorations for Our Children

Career Explorations for Our Children 

Throughout life, children aspire to become many different things when they grow up. One child may want to become a sanitation worker and recycle truck driver. Others dream of becoming a fireman, police woman, or teacher. From an early age, we can encourage our children to learn more about different types of careers and jobs by:

  • Taking our children to our jobs afterschool, in the evening, or on weekends
  • Encouraging our children to help us with various aspects of our job (i.e. sort different assignments for teachers, organize the trash and recyclables for the garbage collection and recycle centers, and conduct household fire safety checks)
  • Helping our children learn how to pursue specific career explorations through research, participation in early college courses, and engaging in relevant work experiences

Elementary children typically explore careers by starting small businesses and playing pretend games. Some children like to create lemonade stands to sell baked goods and refreshments. Another child may sell art creations and another may organize garage sales for selling old toys and household items. When children organize small business activities, they learn what it takes to plan for a business venture, how to manage money throughout the process, and how to conduct business with various family members and the public.

As our children enter the middle school years, they can start participating in summer internships that may include:

  • Working in a summer camp for kids, at community service or and church events, and at performing arts events
  • Enrolling in certificate and career exploration programs for preteens offered through parks and recreation programs (i.e. babysitting certification, CPR, cooking and sewing classes, sports classes, and performing arts classes)
  • Participating in youth groups and clubs that explore careers in STEAM types of activities, makers fairs, and STEM competitions

As our children enter their high school years, that can expand their career exploration activities by:

  • Securing paid internships and jobs in their areas of interest
  • Participating in community service events as an intern, youth leader, or paid employee
  • Enrolling in early learning college courses to explore career options and complete undergraduate course requirements for career preparation to accelerate learning and reduce the time and expense required for a bachelor’s degree

We can encourage our children to compete a resume each year that focuses on their immediate interests, experiences, and possible career goals. An appropriate resume for middle school students might include the following information:

Sample Resume Template

My Resume (What is your name?) _____________________________________

Job Title (What do you want to do?) ____________________________________

Qualifications (What is your experience with this type of work?)

  1. _____________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________
  3. _____________________________________________________________

Accomplishments and Awards (What are awards or activities that you do well?)

  1. _____________________________________________________________
  2. _____________________________________________________________

Hobbies (How do you like to spend your time?)

  1. _____________________________________________________________
  2. _____________________________________________________________

Job References (Who can we contact to talk about your experience with the job?)

  1. ______________________________ ____________________________


High school students can expand their resumes by including a career goal, identifying college course requirements, and including significant volunteer or paid working experiences for a specific career per the sample resume below:

Sample Resume

Edward Smith Ayala                                                                              

Phone Number: (818) 665-0085                                                         

Email: smith@gmail.com           

Career Goal

Bio Engineering

Marine Biology

Bio Chemistry

Honors and Awards

Presidential Award Recipient

Honor Roll (9th, 10th, and 11th grades)

GPA: 4.3  (Weighted)

Community Activities

Congressional Summer Intern, June 2016-August 2016, The Office of Tony Cardenas, Congressman, 29th District, Arleta, CA

  • Duties included but were not limited to working with district staff in the following areas of constituent services: casework, and correspondence; grants funding; environmental science research; outreach and event staffing; general office support.

Teen Convention Vice-Chairman, June 2015-January 2016, Recovery Teen Convention, Woodland Hills, CA

  • Co-Managed a committee of 15 teens to oversee and run all convention details for 100 teens, including, monthly and bi-monthly meeting reminders and announcements, oversaw sub-committee selections, developed the program agenda, organized fundraisers, and selected program speakers.

Interpreter, August 2015, Christ Church of the Valley, Tacna, Peru

  • Translated (Spanish) for the Peru Summer Mission’s Team
  • Provided educational & tutoring support for students in the Semillas After School Program
  • Provided weekly groceries to the Tacna Community and supported work crews to replace roofing, paint, and resurface church flooring.

Assistant Martial Arts Instructor, October 2011- October 2015, Ken Nagayama Martial Arts, Burbank, CA

  • Assisted teaching in the Kinder Karate Program and learned to reach each student by adjusting my teaching style to better meet their needs
  • Taught students of all ages and levels for 2 hours a week for 4 years

Volunteer Election Campaign Worker, September 2012- March 2015, Monica Garcia for LAUSD Board Los Angeles, CA

  • Helped to register voters
  • Supported bilingual phone banking teams

Volunteer Election Campaign Worker, September 2014- March 2015, Ref Rodriguez for LAUSD Board Los Angeles, CA

  • Educated students and school staff members, through student assemblies and faculty meetings, about each candidate’s election platform and supported the GOTV campaign

Work Experiences/Internships

Dance Coach, January 2016- Present, YPI Valley Public Charter High School, Pacoima, CA

  • Established and developed after school dance club for the new early college high school for 4 hours a week (6 hours a day during school recess)
  • Designs daily lesson plans, provides mentoring and tutoring for the students in the program


  • Cheerleading-BCCS, CCECHS, All Star Athletics, and Cali- All Star (4 years)
  • Dance- Granada and Champs (4 years)
  • Acting/Performing Arts- Golden Theater (3 years)
  • Leadership-Student Government (2 years)
  • Acting/Performing Arts- Children’s Theatre Experience (4 years)
  • Martial Arts-Ken Nagayama Martial Arts (12 years)


As students become aviators in their career explorations, they will be able to understand and articulate clearly what they need to achieve a specific career path. This clarity can guide them to successfully complete all necessary skills and requirements for career success. These experiences can also support students’ interpersonal communication skills and leadership development.

Much success in supporting your children’s career explorations!


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