Preparing Students to Navigate the World of Work, Interact with Others and Get the Job Done

By Michael E. Bernard, PhD, Professor at the University of Melbourne, psychologist, and founder of You Can Do It! Education — a program for promoting student social-emotional well-being and achievement that is being used in thousands of schools in Australia and overseas.

The Core Skills for Work Developmental Framework (CSfW) describes a set of non-technical skills, knowledge and understandings that underpin successful participation in work that have been identified by Australian employers as important for successful participation.

Students preparing to become working adults and looking like they're having a great time.

The skills that contribute to work performance and are applicable across different contexts, industries, communities, fields and settings fall into three categories:

  • Navigating the world of work
  • Interacting with others
  • Getting the work done

For students at the earliest work developmental stages (novice, advanced beginner), these work demands and skill requirements can be overwhelming. For some, just taking public transportation needed to attend job interviews can be challenging. And for all students, responding to setbacks, knockbacks and difficult co-workers, managers and customers requires a fair degree of social and emotional competence (resilience, mindfulness, confidence, GRIT, organisation – goal setting, time management, getting along skills) and a range of positive attitudes (growth mindset, optimism, self-acceptance, acceptance of others, high frustration tolerance, character strength).

As mentioned in earlier blogs, Patricia Bernard and I have developed a 10-session program for students in Years 9 -12 called The Successful Mind at School, Work and Life, which can be delivered by career advisers, interested teachers, school counsellors and psychologists.

The program helps students become aware of what it takes to be successful at work. The content specifically links to the 10 skills enumerated in the CSfW framework. This program builds upon my earlier book, You Can Do It! What Every Student (and Parent) Should Know About Success in School and Life, which I am proud to say was a best-seller.

We have received great feedback on this new 2018 program, especially the content and engaging design of activities the Successful Mind Student Handbook that students use as they go through the program. The online Leader’s Guide offers a detailed lesson plan including: Background Notes for Leader, Session Activities (whole class, small group, pair and individual), Reflection, Action Planning and an extensive array of state-of-the-art images (photos, graphs, quotes) that present to students’ key concepts and principles in a dynamic, visual form.

In collaboration with the Good Education Group, You Can Do It! Education is offering 10 FREE COPIES of the Student Handbook (150 pages) to those of you who may be interested in running the program. To receive your copy of the Successful Mind Student Handbook, email your details including position and school/organisation to: or call: 1800 155 603.

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