Topic 14: Employment

Upper High School Years:

At this age you will most likely be asking your kids “What do you want to be when you grow up?” An idea to help them to start thinking about this is to draw their attention to people at work when you are out and ask your kids if they would like to be doing what that person is doing. There is more information in Topic 14 relating to this.

Instead, when you are out and about with your kids you should take every opportunity to point out people who are at work and ask your kids if they can put themselves in that person’s shoes. For example:

  • “Why is that person packing shelves/building that house/repairing that car/serving those customers, and so on?”
  •  “Do you think they like doing that job?”
  • “Do you think that job pays well?”
  • “How would that job fit in with their family life?”
  • “How much time off work do you think they would get?”
  • “How hard would it be to get a job like that?”
  • “What qualifications would they need in order to get that job?”
  • “What would be the best and the worst thing about having a job like that?”
  • “Would you like to have a job like that?”
  • “How would you get a job like that?”
  • “What might that job lead on to?”

Doing this will get them to imagine themselves in the various roles of people at work and start them thinking about what it is they do want to do.

Pros and Cons of Employment

It’s unlikely your kids will have thought through all the advantages and disadvantages of being employed so let’s look at them so you are clear and can articulate them to your kids well.

What is good about being employed?

  • Predictable income
  • Predictable hours (usually)
  • Possible career path
  • Possible security
  • Paid Public and Annual Holidays (if you are employed full-time)
  • Paid Long Service leave (if you stay long enough)
  • You are free to think about other things after you ‘knock-off’ for the day, unlike the boss who most likely has ongoing responsibilities.

What is not so good about being employed?

  • Lack of freedom to be creative
  • You’re told what to do
  • You’re told how to do it
  • You have little choice over who you work with
  • You have to be at work when it’s work time
  • You only get time off work when your holidays are due
  • You only get paid enough to make you stay in the job
  • You may be better qualified and better at your job, yet someone else gets a promotion because of who they are
  • You get to make your employer rich
  • If you know there is a better way to do things, you may get frustrated from not being able to initiate change and instead having to continue doing things the old way.

By the time they reach adulthood your kids should know… 

  • What career they want to pursue
  • What jobs they need to work in to learn the skills that will help them to get to the career they want faster
  • What educational qualifications will help them to achieve that career
  • The responsibilities of being an employee
  • The responsibilities of being an employer
  • The pros and cons of being an employee
  • The pros and cons of being an employer
  • How to be a great employee who is upwardly mobile
  • How things work


Lower Primary School Years:

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Upper Primary School Years:

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Lower High School Years:

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Upper High School Years:

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