This activity will bring together the two concepts we have been discussing, lifestyles & strengths, and connect this to careers, a topic we will be diving into later on within the course. Students will see a visual representation of “The Funnel” which puts in perspective the traditional path to finding a career versus the ideal path.
Begin the activity by calling up 3-5 volunteers to the front of the room. Hand each student a ping pong ball (or something of similar nature) and position the traffic cone upright in front of the volunteers. Ask the students to stand 8 feet away from the cone and try to throw the ball into the opening at the top. Most students will not be able to accomplish this. Now flip the cone upside down and ask students to do the same thing. Students will have much more success this way.
Note: If you do not have access to a parking cone, you can create the funnel using bristol board and tape.
Ask the students to return to their seats and begin a class discussion:
Draw the traditional funnel (the upright cone)
Begin to explain to students that when you select your future job first, it might not always align with your strengths and the lifestyle you want to live. Explain the analogy of the cone, most students could not get the ball into the cone when it was upright because it requires perfect aim, which isn’t easy. This model tells young people to guess on a career, hope their strengths fit, and pray that they will attain their dream lifestyle. It’s a game of chance that rarely results in success and fulfillment.
Next, display The Funnel poster. Explain to students that this representation focuses on the lifestyle a person wants to live and then identifies the strengths they possess or could grow.
Why is lifestyle first? Lifestyle sets the direction an individual wants to go. It encompasses the life they want to live, the person they want to become, the moments they want to chase and experience.
Why are strengths second? Strengths will help us achieve the lifestyle we want to reach by focusing on what we are good at, what we will be successful at. This focuses on who we are instead of who we should be.
Why is job/career last? Once we figure out what we want in life and what our strengths, skills and talents are, we can begin to figure out how to accomplish all of this through our career choices.
To close off the lesson, play the The Funnel video.
Note: Feel free to hang “The Funnel” poster up in your class to keep students thinking about this concept.