I recently sent out a survey asking our IEP Guru subscribers what they wanted to see from this weekly email series. I got a lot of great responses, and one in particular stood out: transition planning. This was exciting to me because 1) I have a lot of experience with transition and 2) there truly is a lack of high quality information in this area. The good news is that today I've got a great resource to help you start thinking about your child's long-term plans!
Have you ever tried to talk to your student about career options? My guess is it goes something like this:
"I don't know"
"I want to be a singer"
"Maybe I can do something with a computer"
"I'm good at drawing comics"
"I could be a farmer"
These statements, while valid, do not give you a great starting point for identifying possible jobs that align with the skill level, education level, abilities, and personal attributes that your child brings to the table. So where should you start?
At MyNextMove.com. Y'all. I LOVE this resource! MyNextMove is a student-friendly website that allows a user to research possible careers using three tools: a keyword search, a comprehensive list of careers by industry, and an easy-to-use interest inventory.
The interest inventory asks the student to rate their interest in certain activities (such as "sorting, sealing and stamping mail" or "entering data into a spreadsheet") using a 5-point scale. Instead of numbers, however, there are picture icons that depict varying emotions from "heck no" to "heck yes" (think of these like emojis-- your child reads or hears a statement and then picks an emoji that shows how s/he feels about that job). After answering the questions, the inventory identifies which career area (like "social" or "analytic") the user is most passionate about and generates a list of possible careers that align with the interests of the user.
My favorite part? When you click on a career that's been suggested, you get a WEALTH of information including what knowledge, skills, and abilities are required for the job, what personality types tend to enjoy this work, what type of technology a person in that job uses, the educational background required and information about job outlook and average salary. If that's not enough, it also gives a list of related jobs that the user may be interested in. Check out this example for someone who's interested in food prep!
Here's how this related to transition planning: you go through this process, you settle on a job that your child would like to achieve, and you use the skills, knowledge, and abilities lists to set your transition goals. It's backwards planning. You start with the end in mind, and work backwards to figure out what your child needs to master in order to get to that end goal.
Using the example provided with food prep, you can easily see how some of the requisite abilities ("communicate by speaking" or "look for ways to help people") could be reworked into transition goals.
Trust me: you will not regret using this tool to help your student narrow down their interests and begin working toward a feasible career path.
What do you use to help facilitate transitioning planning? We'd love to hear about it! Hop on over to our Facebook page and share!