Let’s Get Working!
The work ethic
by Helen Gwynne-Kinsey
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To consider the importance of preparing for the world of work.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Let's Get Working!) and the means to display them.
- Show Slide 1.
Ask the students to suggest what word is being described here.
Listen to a range of responses.
- Show Slide 2.
Reveal the answer and explain that today, we are going to think about the concept of work.
Work is not something that we all look forward to. For example, some of us may be thinking about the homework that we haven’t done in preparation for one of our lessons today. Nevertheless, work is something that we will all do in some way as we go through life.
Today, we are going to concentrate on work in the sense of what people do for a living.
- Show Slide 3.
A few years ago, the Church of England published a report that highlighted several important aspects of work.
Work is an important and necessary part of life. Let’s think about this statement carefully for a moment. Let’s think about some of the jobs that we consider to be important in our society.
Pause to allow time for thought and discussion.
How would we manage, for example, without the work of those in the medical profession? What about the people who work in the food industry?
Work is necessary for our survival and well-being.
Work can be creative. Many people are imaginative and can generate original or artistic ideas. People like this find work in the creative industries: fashion designers, artists, musicians, film directors, actors and so on.
Work can be hard. Imagine working in a hospital’s emergency department and having to deal with the suffering of those who attend. There is no doubt that some jobs are demanding in a physical way, whereas others can leave people feeling mentally exhausted.
Work is good for us. It gives us purpose in life, enables us to support ourselves financially, gives us status and, depending on the job, can bring us into relationships with other people. This, in turn, can lead to a sense of community and the development of teamwork.
- Show Slide 4.
It’s never too early to start thinking about our future career options, and a good place to start is by considering a few things about ourselves.
What would we like to do? Many of us already have ambitions to enter a particular trade or profession, but for those of us who have no firm idea, we could start by thinking about the things that we enjoy doing, and note down some possible career paths that are connected to our interests.
What are our strengths? We could ask a close family member or friend to help us to identify our personal strengths. This is helpful when it comes to matching our abilities to a particular job.
What skills do we have? We may be technically skilful, good at communicating or able to motivate others. Whatever our skills, we can try to match them to suitable jobs.
- Show Slide 5.
For many people of faith, work is one of the ways in which they can serve God. For example, the Bible says, ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for man.’ (Colossians 3.23)
- Show Slide 6.
One of the three pillars of Sikhism is to earn an honest, pure and dedicated living by using one’s God-given skills, abilities, talents and labour for the improvement of the individual, family and society.
Time for reflection
As we prepare for the challenges ahead in the world of work, let us commit right now to working hard in school so that we establish a solid foundation of good qualifications that will give us a choice of careers when we leave education.
We pray for wisdom to recognize our own personal strengths and skills.
We ask for guidance in our decisions about the future so that the work that we eventually undertake will bring fulfilment, not just for ourselves, but for others too.
‘Work song (Cinderelly)’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOe6Nsf-KGA (3.18 minutes long)