JA Career Success

JA Career Success™ equips students with the tools and skills required to earn and keep a job in high-growth career industries.

This new program covers key topics, such as:

  • 4Cs: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity
  • Strong soft skills
  • Work priorities
  • STEM and other high-growth industries
  • Personal-brand and job-hunting tools-resumes, cover letters, interviews, and digital profiles

JA Career Success™ is composed of seven 45-minute sessions recommended for high school students. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 students.

Session-specific, student-friendly materials are included to increase student interaction and emphasize JA''s experiential approach to learning.

JA Career Success™ enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

  • Concepts – Career clusters, Career planning, Career preparation, Collaboration, Communication, Conflict management, Critical thinking, Education and training, Employer expectations, High-growth jobs, High performance teams, Interests, Inventory and ordering, Job interviews, Job outlook, Job retention, Post-secondary options, Problem-solving techniques, Retail stocking, Skills, Soft skills, STEM, Technical skills, The 4Cs, Working priorities, Workplace skills
  • Skills – Analyze data, Collaborative discussions, Conflict resolution, Communication, Competition, Creativity and innovation, Critical thinking, Decision making, Following written instructions, Formulating answers from personal experiences, Goal-setting, Identify behaviors, Interpersonal skills, Organizing information, Prioritizing, Problem solving, Research skills, Role-playing, Self-assessment, Time management, Work collaboratively, Working in groups

Program Components

The key learning objectives listed beside each activity state the skills and knowledge students will gain.

Get Hired: Critical Thinking and Creativity

Students are introduced to the need to be work ready by developing the 4Cs skills that employers want from people entering the workforce. Students apply critical-thinking skills and creativity to solve problems in a real-life work scenario.

Session Objectives:

  • Use a problem-solving technique to solve personal and professional problems
  • Apply critical-thinking skills to work-based problems
  • Recognize that decisions made in the workplace have consequences

Get Hired: Communication and Conflict Management Skills

Students apply communication skills to resolve conflicts in work-based scenarios. Students will role-play conflicts and conflict management. They will explore behaviors that inflame conflict and behaviors that lead to a resolution.

Session Objectives:

  • Recognize common responses to conflict
  • Apply conflict-management skills to resolve work-based issues

Get Hired: Collaboration and Creativity

Students practice collaboration—a 4Cs skill—by using a team-building model referred to as the GRPI model (Goals, Roles and Responsibilities, Processes, and Interpersonal Relationship Skills). The model describes the behaviors found in high-performance teams in the workplace.

Session Objectives:

  • Demonstrate collaboration with team members to accomplish work-based challenges
  • Recognize the components of a high-performance team

Get Hired: Strong Soft Skills

Students will review soft skills that are in demand by employers and rate their own soft skills. They will use personal stories in a job-interview workshop to communicate these skills to a potential employer.

Session Objectives:

  • Identify soft skills that are in demand by employers
  • Demonstrate personal soft skills in a mock interview

Get Hired: Know Your Work Priorities

Students learn that in the current workforce, people change jobs or careers several times over a lifetime. That means it is important to be prepared and adaptable. Students explore which of their priorities should be their anchors as they prepare to enter the working world.

Session Objectives:

  • Recognize the importance of being focused, proactive, and adaptable when exploring careers
  • Rank work environment priorities as an anchor for further career planning decisions

Get Hired: Know Who''s Hiring

In groups, students analyze factors to consider when researching careers: skills learned through training and education; interests in various career clusters; and specific high-growth jobs and the requirements needed to earn them.

Session Objectives:

  • Analyze requirements needed for high-growth industries, such as those offering STEM-related jobs
  • Identify the education and training needed to be adaptable and competitive in the job market

Get Hired: Know Your Personal Brand

Students work in teams to rate the personal brand of candidates applying for a job by comparing cover letters, resumes, and digital profiles of the candidates.

Session Objectives:

  • Explore how to hunt for a job and the tools needed
  • Determine choices they can make to create a positive personal brand as they build their careers

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. These programs also augment school-based, work-based, and connecting activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.

For additional information on this and all Junior Achievement programs, please visit