Work-Based Learning

What do you want to do?

  • Hi, I’m Tom! Welcome to PROMISE!

    What is PROMISE?

    PROMISE is designed to help students who are still in school start thinking about the kind of career they want to have after school.

    It’s a good idea to start thinking about this early so that you can make a choice about your future that will make you happy.

  • How is a job different from a career?

    What’s the difference between a job and a career?

    A job is...

    A job is something you do just to get paid; you may or may not be really interested in what you do. A job is a short term commitment to do a certain task.

    A career is...

    A career is when you do the same type of work for most of your life and you have chances to keep learning and doing more but maybe in different roles or in different workplaces.

    When you have a career, it is assumed that you will do this kind of work your whole life and that you will continue to get better jobs with more responsibility. A career is a long term commitment to do a certain kind of work.


  • What do I like to do?

    What do I like to do?

    Right now, going to school is your job. You have to get up and go all week. When you graduate, you can expect to do the same thing for your job or your career.

    If you've never worked before, how do you know what kind of job or career you would like?

    One way to start is by asking some questions!

    I have a question!

  • What do I like about school?

    What do I like about school?

    I love art class!

    You could be a cake decorator, a graphic designer, a multimedia artist or an animator, an architect, a landscape architect, an interior designer, an art handler, a calligrapher, an art director, or you could work at a museum.

  • We teach you how to manage your benefits while working.

    Benefits Planning: What does working mean for my benefits?

    When you depend on the money that you get from the government for things like food, a place to live and clothes - the idea of giving up those benefits can be scary.

    PROMISE staff will help you, your family, and your PROMISE team understand what will happen to your benefits when you go to work.

    They will also help you understand how to use work incentives to get the most out of working while you are in school. Work incentives are special rules that were created so that people would not be afraid to give work a try. People who use work incentives when working bring home more money every month than they would by just collecting their benefits and not working.

  • What do I do in my free time?

    What do I do in my free time?

    I spend a lot of time on the computer!

    You could be a software engineer, a system analyst, a network security specialist, a network administrator, a database administrator, a computer tech support person, a web developer, or a web designer.


    I love shopping!

    Personal shopper (either for clothes, or for every day household stuff for people who can't get out), wedding planner, purchaser, retail clothes shopper, or boutique shopper are a few jobs you might want to explore.

  • Do I have any hobbies?

    Do I have any hobbies?

    I love sports!

    You could be a coach or team manager, an event coordinator, a physical therapist, an athletic trainer, a fitness trainer, a public relations manager, a sports marketer, a photojournalist, a sports reporter, a broadcaster, an agent, a nutritionist, or work in a gym.

  • What kind of things do I like?

    What kind of things do I like?

    I like spending time with my dog!

    You could explore being a pet sitter, veterinarian, veterinary technician, dog walker, animal groomer, pet daycare owner or worker, dog trainer, or zoologist.


    I love music!

    You could work at a record store, be a concert promoter, DJ, music librarian, music teacher, sound or recording engineer, or studio musician.


  • Let’s talk about careers you might like!

    Getting ready to work: Career Planning and Preparation

    There are a lot of things you have to know about when you go to work. How to speak up for yourself and let people know what you need, how to talk to your boss and other people that you work with, how to make friends at work, and how to get a job and travel to that job.

    PROMISE offers support in learning about all of these issues that are so important to finding a great career. You will learn about what you might want to look for in a job or career, what you are good at and what that might mean for your future career.

  • How do I know what I can get paid for?

    What can my PROMISE team do to help?

    Your PROMISE team can help you think through some of these ideas. They can even help you to make a plan that talks about what your goal is for a career and the steps that you will need to take to get there.

    As your PROMISE case manager, I’ll talk with you about all your job options!

    This team can also help you understand how to get along with people on a job, how to get to work, the kinds of things your boss will want you to do (like being on time and how to dress for work), and how to get support from people at work.

    As your job coach, I’ll help you with all your questions at work.

  • Where would I like to work?

    How can I get a career that matches what I like to do?

    There are other things that matter besides what you like to do. You should also think about what will work best for you on the job and try to match some of these things in the career you choose. Are you at your best early in the morning or late at night or sometime in between? Can you handle really hot or really cold environments? Do you want to work in an office or be able to be outside during your work day?

    The bad news is, it's not all about you…you also have to think about what you bring to the table that would also be important to someone who would hire you. Think about the specific tasks that would be involved in the work that you do. Who would you work with? Will you have to work with a lot of customers? Will you spend a lot of time alone? Think about whether all of these things are a good match for you!

  • Is there more to working than money?

    Is it all about the money?!

    Remember, that while it is important to make money, you should also think about finding a career that you want to do every day. You have to be motivated to go to work every day, so think about what would keep you interested in a career.

    You may be able to find careers that pay pretty well too. For example, horse riders/exercisers can make upwards of $50,000. You would have to work your way up to that kind of salary, and you may have to take some other jobs while waiting for the perfect position.

    Whether you are looking for a career or a job, you should think about what you need from your employer in terms of money (to pay for a place to live, food, and other expenses), benefits (medical benefits, dental benefits, paid sick time, long term or short term disability) and support (willingness to offer accommodations, employee assistance program).

    Your PROMISE team will be helping you to learn about budgeting and money. Ask them to help you think through these important questions and to work out a plan.

  • Hi, I’m Tamesha, Tom’s job coach!

    Job Trials: Community Paid Training Experience

    At this point, it is time to put all the stuff you’ve learned about your potential career choice to work and make some money. You will be trying out jobs in your neighborhood and bringing home a paycheck. This will allow you to learn more about yourself as an employee, and it will also allow you to start putting your money management skills to the test. These jobs are still for you to learn about yourself at work, so they might only last a few months.

  • How do I know I’ll like the job?

    How can I try some jobs on for size?

    You never know what you might like until you try it. Your PROMISE team will help you to explore some jobs that you are interested in and that are a good match for your skills.

    School is a great place to explore some of these jobs because there are people around who can help you find jobs to try, and help you think about what you experienced.

  • Let’s set up a time to talk!

    Who do I talk to?

    Remember, to get started with any of the helpful services offered by PROMISE, you start with your case manager.

  • Let’s see if you remember the key points!


    The goal of the PROMISE project is to get you any job that you will get paid for.


    FALSE:  The goal of the PROMISE project is to help you find a career.  A career is work that that you can grow in over the course of a lifetime.  Where you look into different parts of the work, develop expertise and get raises over time.

    In order to find a career you will like, think about the things you already do.


    TRUE.  A great way to start your career exploration is to ask yourself about the kind of things you already spend your time doing and work with your PROMISE team to think about what jobs might match those interests.

    You should get a job working with computers, because you will make lots of money, even if you hate computers.


    FALSE.  Very few people make a lot of money at anything that they really don’t like.  Also, no one wants to spend the rest of your life doing something you hate every day.  It’s important to match your skills and interest to the job needs of employers where you live.

    You will have to find jobs in the community to try all by yourself.


    FALSE.  Your PROMISE team will help you find jobs to try that are right for you.

  • Let’s review this chapter!


    There is a difference between a job and a career.  A job is work you do for a short time primarily to earn money or to learn how to do something new.  A career is a series of jobs, or it may be one place where you work for a long time.  It is work that you can grow in over your life.  It gives you the opportunity to build on the skills you learn in one job or task and get better and earn more money as you do. 


    Ask questions.  To start the process of figuring out what career is right for you, begin by asking questions about yourself. 

    • What do I like about school?
    • What do I do in my free time?
    • Do I have any hobbies?
    • What kind of things do I like?

    Talk to your PROMISE case manager to think about how you might use the answers to these questions to find a job.


    What makes a good career match? When deciding on a career, also think about things that help you be your best (things like whether you like to get up early or sleep late, whether you like to be inside or outside, or whether you like to work closely with other people or with customers or if you prefer to spend more time focusing on work).


    It’s not all about the money…it’s really wonderful to love what you do. 


    What do you need from working?  This is where the money management information will come in handy.  Ask your PROMISE case manager for information about financial planning for you and your family.  Think about how much money you need to pay for somewhere to live, to pay for your bills, and to pay for food to eat. If you need health insurance, it’s important to find work that offers it. 


    Find some jobs to try!  Trying some jobs while in school allows you to choose a career based on first-hand experience instead of guessing what something might be like.  Your PROMISE team can help.

  • Chapter complete!