I was hired by a major university to teach recently released offenders how to become employed. I walked into my first class intending to follow the lead of all the other job training programs in the city, which was teaching the students to properly fill out applications, write resumes, facilitate mock interviews, and locate employment opportunities. After the first couple of classes, most of the students were either not paying attention or sleeping. I quickly realized my presentation needed to be interesting, challenging, beneficial, and actually guide the participants on how to remain employed. However, I was unable to find any published material for teaching new hires the soft skills necessary to keep a job. This workbook is a compilation of the soft skills class material I have developed over an eighteen year period. I have used this material with great success and have taught soft skills in schools, inner-city church programs, nonprofits, and government funded job training programs. It is a unique collection of essays, exercises, quotes, and maxims that will give students a realistic perspective on work-related expectations and the expectations of the supervisors who hire them. It will help students develop their problem solving skills, guide them in making appropriate decisions, and create a desire to plan out goals and achieve them. The workbook style is challenging and playful, serious and engaging and a stepping stone to developing the cognitive skills necessary to quash unproductive thinking and self-defeating emotional behaviors.
- I am preparing to use this workbook for the second time as the text in a class for adults preparing to enter or re-enter the workforce. The lessons are engaging,easy to present and well-organized, and the quotes and stories lead to great opportunities for discussion. I find that students have some real “Aha Moments” during reflective discussion. Topics include work ethic, attitudes, teamwork, problem solving, and communication skills. I am a retired educator and HR professional, and I only wish I had known of this workbook earlier. The topics presented are on target for employees in any work setting, and especially useful for new or potential hires.Employers cannot assume that all employees understand the importance of work attitude and workplace behavior, and in my experience, problems in this area can be much more damaging and harder to remediate than skills’ deficits.
In preparation for using the workbook for my upcoming class, I went to the website and requested the free support materials, and within a day the author emailed a pdf file for an instructors’ guide and assessments.The pre and post assessments, as well as the learner self-assessments provided will add an important element to my new class. Of note, the first section of this book is available as a briefer, stand-alone workbook [ASIN:1481882767 10 Things Employers Expect Their Employees To Know: A Soft Skills Training Workbook]. I ordered a copy to preview for my first class, but decided to use the full text version and all it includes. However, the shorter text still covers a lot of ground and would be useful for on-boarding workshops for any business. Both resources have large text and a simple reading format. This can be very important for many who are facing challenges in becoming employed. If you are working with new employees, pre-service trainees, or anyone preparing for the world of work, I highly recommend Mr. Wentz’s materials.
I am a career and technical education teacher- Animal Science, but took a summer position in the incarcerated youth program. I came across this book when looking for resources in that position that I could use that would actually help these students be successful once they are able to go out into the real world and attempt to gain employment. So far, I love using this book! It is practical and down to earth in its wording. I plan to incorporate this into my Animal Science curriculum as well, because these skills are applicable to all students and is what they need to be successfully employed. There may be a few small parts I omit as I use it in that setting as they are more relevant to incarcerated youth, but for the most part this is an excellent resource for any classroom in which you need to train students in job skills. A helpful hint: There is an instructor manual available for answers, just follow the directions in the book and e-mail the writer. Mr. Wentz is fast to respond and very helpful. Also, if you are looking at the accompanying workbook, some of the material is the same, but has a few extra resources. I find myself working mostly through the training book at the moment. I have already discussed this text with my administrator and my colleagues. I would like to update review this after I have the opportunity to use it this upcoming school year. I am really happy I came across this and recommend for any career training classroom.
As a Probation Officer, this book was tremendously helpful. I am currently assigned to an intensive supervision caseload and cover the communities of Watts, Compton, South Los Angeles, and Crenshaw areas. We work with high risk offenders, usually gang members, who are not working, or going to school. They understand the “street codes,” and know how to survive in that world, but some have difficulty making the transition to the working world. Where impulsive thinking was rewarded in the streets, this book breaks down through exercise, how to think again, and not just react to anger and frustration through violence or acting “crazy”. It’s easy to tell probationers to just get a job, but it’s difficult to help them survive in a foreign world. This book helps with the dissonance, and breaks things down for them.