Forward Momentum: Pages of a Career Journal

Thank you for your interest in the Teen Coordinator position at _. We look forward to meeting you in person during the interview on_. There will be a small panel of youth workers and administrators present, and during the interview you will be asked to facilitate a group activity lasting 5-7 minutes. Please come prepared with your activity and any supplies that you will need. Please also consider that the position largely works with youth ages 14-18. Please contact me at the number below for clarification.”

My dream job interview is tomorrow. I’m a tad nervous, but I know you will see me through this and I ask that your will be done. Funny thing is it seems like I told everybody and their mama about this interview. A part of me is like was that wise? People are quick to hate. Yet, I am brushing my shoulders off and give it over to you. I ask that you touch the panel and youth and revel to them my gifts and talents and my mission to improve youth lives as mama _ improved mine. I ask that you give me clarity and that you speak and shine through me. As badly as I want this, I aim to please you and do your will Amen.”

Activity: “You and your peers may already know each. However, I would like to learn a little bit about you and for you to learn a little bit more about me, through the following game: Forward Momentum. The object of the game is to not produce a winner, but for each of us to get a glimpse of each other’s lifestyle.

Rules: line each youth up at one end of the room. The coordinator stands at the other end of the room. And ask youth a host of questions. For example, “Did you grow up in Florida?” For each youth who says yes, they move one step up (if you, the coordinator, grew up in Florida you also move one step). For those who didn’t grow up in Florida, they stay put and have to reveal where they grew up. The question and answer session goes on until you’re out of questions or until all youth have successfully reached the other side of the room.


I am glad I journaled this, as my plan was to start taking notes on job descriptions to help me cultivate the perfect job. The above was the description of my “dream job” after obtaining my bachelors. I didn’t get the job. This interview stood out for me because there were no youth. I had to run my activity by the adult panel. My last question was “Did you skip breakfast this morning? If not, what did you have?” I then proceeded to offer all the “kids” a Rice Krispy treat (surely the panel was thinking bribery. I was thinking fuel). I informed others of this exciting opportunity, because I wanted to learn about activities they had (what would you have done?).

I think the agency failed by not letting real teens be a part of the interviewing process- they could have been teaching life skills. To involve youth, the agency could have had applicants sign a confidentiality agreement. They could have also coached the youth with the following steps.

  • Give them clear instructions and tell them what safety precautions to take
  • Ask them to repeat your instructions and give them an opportunity to ask questions
  • Show them how to perform the task with the utmost regard to safety and respect.
  • Watch them do the task, correct any mistakes, and praise them when they do it right
  • Ask if they’re unsure on any aspects of the process

Once youth know what to do and have demonstrated that they can do the job right, check again later to be sure they are continuing to do the task correctly or answer their questions after each application. I also think it is important for those in charge to set a good example by following all the appropriate rules.

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5 Responses to Forward Momentum: Pages of a Career Journal

  1. jml297 says:

    Best of luck with the job! I loved the photo of your journal stack. I will be posting something similar tomorrow as part of the #MyISpy alphabet series, and it was a treat to see someone else’s pile!


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