Work-Based Learning


  • Hi, I'm Dan. I am a PROMISE Case Manager.

    Test-Driving a Career

    Your PROMISE case manager is the key to all of the services offered by this project. Your case manager will help you get started on your career search. You will start with a meeting with your PROMISE team to think about the best way for you to try some jobs. They will help you to think about what your options might be and find someone to help you.

    Let's talk about what you'd like to do!

    To start thinking about a career that you might like, talk to your PROMISE case manager! They can make sure that you get the support you need to find a good match.

  • What should I do for work?

    How can I get ready to try out a job in my community?

    There are so many jobs out there that you may not have even heard of so you have to find out as much as you can before you choose a career.

    To start thinking about a career that you might like, talk to the PROMISE case manager. They can make sure that you get the support you need to find a good match.

    I can help and we'll find you a community provider, called a job coach.

    You can find out the kinds of jobs that are out there, how much money you might make, how long you have to go to school or what kind of experience you need.

  • I’m a little nervous about asking questions.

    Can I talk to people who do the job I might like?

    Your PROMISE case manager can help connect you to community agencies that can assist you in identifying people who are in the types of careers you think you will like.

    Sitting down and talking to someone who already is working in a job that interests you will give you some basic information about the job that they do.

    I am a job coach. What do you want to know about the jobs you visit?

    Your PROMISE case manager and community agency you decide to work with can help you talk to several people who work in different parts of the career you are thinking about.

  • Here are some good questions to ask!

    What kinds of questions should I ask?

    Ask your case manager to help you think of some questions that are open-ended (this just means that they will get the other person to talk to you instead of just answering yes or no questions).

    Once you get an appointment, you should ask things like:

    What do you do at your job every day?

    What tools do you use to do your job?

    What do you love about your job?

    What do you find challenging (or what don’t you like) about your job?

    Why did you choose this career?

    What do you have to be good at to do this job?

    How long did you have to go to school?

  • I’m ready!!

    Ask Questions!

    Talk to someone who has the career you are interested in.

    Let’s practice asking those questions!

  • I’m Mike, I hear you are interested in art!

    Can I get a tour of a workplace?

    If you talk to someone about their job, but you find out that they talk about some things that you don’t understand or need to learn more about –the PROMISE community service provider can help you to ask for a tour of the place that they work.

    This will allow you to see the kind of place that they work in and who they work with on a regular basis. This can be particularly helpful if you want to find out if the environment (things like closed or open office spaces, noise level) would be OK for you if you were to get a job there.

    Your PROMISE community service provider will help you think through what you saw and talk through the things you like or don’t like about the job you saw.

  • Would you like to watch a photographer at work?

    Can I spend a day with someone at work?

    Once you have found a job or two that you think you would really like, your PROMISE community service provider may help you to set up a chance to "shadow" someone at their job. That basically means that you spend a few hours watching them at work so you can learn more about what it is that they do.

    I get to spend the day in a photography studio!! NICE!!

  • I want to try some of these jobs!

    Can I try out the job?

    Sometimes, you can't tell if you like something until you actually get to try it out. This means that you will do the same work that other people in the job might do every day. It might be for a day or two, or it might be for longer.

    What do you want to try first? We’ll find places in that line of work that will offer internships!

    You should talk to your team about how long you want to try out each job. You can figure this out by deciding on a plan with your PROMISE team for what you want to learn from trying out the job and how long it might take to learn it.

    Let’s talk about a longer-term plan to explore a career in photography!

    You can learn a lot about a job this way. You’ll learn things like:

    • how you like the actual job tasks
    • how long you can sit or stand at one time
    • what it is like to work with other people
    • what it is like to have a boss 
    • what is it like to have deadlines or have to get a certain amount of work done on time
  • How about graphic design?

    Can I try out a job for a little longer?

    These short term experiences will add up to you learning more about what you might like or not like in a career. They are a good start, but if you want to make sure that you will be able to do something every day, you may want to dedicate a little bit more time just to make sure you really can commit to the career you think you will like.

  • I’d like to try graphic design! Who can help me?

    What about internships?

    Internships are short term employment experiences for people who are interested in careers where they will work primarily in an office, often referred to as white collar jobs.

    Internships give you the opportunity to try out a job for a longer period of time, like a summer, so you really get to experience the job, working with other people, and what it's like to have responsibility to an employer. Also, they give you real work experience to put on your resume.

  • I can’t wait to start my summer internship!

    What’s in it for me?

    Internships are good for employers because they get extra help getting work done. Internships are good for students because they get to learn a lot more about the world of work such as what a specific job is about and what it is like to work; students can also gain practical work experience. If you want to go to college, it also helps to beef up your application. Also, you might make a contact that can help you get a job in the future or at least offer a reference to a future employer.

  • Community work can be rewarding!

    Community Work Experience

    Community work experiences are also short term work experiences for students. They don’t last longer than a few months. Your PROMISE case manager will help you find a PROMISE community service provider who will help you find a job that you want to try.

    You will work with your boss to determine what a good job looks like. The community provider will also help you talk to your boss about any help or support you might need at work to be successful.

    Your PROMISE team will keep in touch with you and your boss to make sure that everything is going well or to help you problem solve if you run into trouble.

  • What will I learn from this experience?

    Will I get paid for this?

    You may or may not get paid for these work experiences. The goal isn’t really to earn money…the goal is to learn more about what you might want to do for the rest of your work life. You will learn a lot from each workplace about what you like and don’t like and what you want in the place you might work in the future. Each time you leave one of these workplaces, you will be able to talk more about your future career –the kind of work you want to do, where, and with what kind of co-workers or boss.

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


    Your PROMISE case manager can get you started on your career search.


    TRUE. The first step to looking into careers is talking to your PROMISE case manager who can connect you with people to help you find a career path.

    You never have to do homework again after high school.


    FALSE. You can learn a lot by looking into your options. Finding the right career for you starts with trying some jobs you think you might like to find your career.

    Talking to people who do the work you think you might enjoy is a good start.


    TRUE. You can learn a lot by asking questions of people who do the work you might like to do. Find out why they like their work and what they do every day. If you think you might want to learn more, you can try it out.

    Short term career exploration can tell you everything you need about what you might want to do for your future.


    FALSE. Short term career can give you ideas about what you might like to learn more about, but having a job for a longer time, like a semester or a summer will really allow you to get an idea about what a job might be like.

  • Let’s review this chapter!


    Getting Started.  Your PROMISE case manager can get you started on your career search.


    Do your homework.  Learning more about your career options helps you make a better choice for your future. 


    Talk to people who work.  A great way to learn more about the world of work is to talk to people who have jobs that interest you.  Ask them:

    • What do you do at your job every day?
    • What tools do you use to do your job?
    • What do you love about your job?
    • What do you find challenging (or what don’t you like) about your job?
    • Why did you choose this career?
    • What do you have to be good at to do this job?
    • How long did you have to go to school?


    Try some new things.  If you want to learn more about someone’s work, ask for a tour or arrange to spend a day with them.  If you want to learn even more, ask your case manager if he or she can help you arrange to try out some of the work for a short time.  If you like it, you can look into trying something a little longer – like a summer internship.

  • Chapter complete!