Prompts for Writing on Careers

Most students have a dream of what they’d like to be when they grow up – so use that dream to get your students writing about careers and work! These prompts for writing on careers will provide you and your students with a starting point for all of your work-related expository essays.

Prompt 1: You always knew you were going to be an attorney when you grew up. Both of your parents are lawyers as well as two of your uncles. You’ve spent years training for what you thought was your dream job. And lucky you, right after graduation you landed a pretty good job with excellent pay, which is good because you have student loans to pay off. But guess what? Now that you’ve actually started working at a law office, you hate it. You hate getting up each day to go to work. What do you do? 

Prompt 2: What do you think would be better for you in a career? To be well-known or well-liked? Do you think it makes a difference depending on the type of career? 

Prompt 3: A hundred years ago, there were no auto mechanics, but there were plenty of blacksmiths to make horseshoes. Now there is less of a need for blacksmiths and a great need for auto mechanics. Can you think of another job that will probably be virtually obsolete in a hundred years? What type of jobs do you think there might be in the future that don’t exist now? 

Prompt 4: Think of the ideal job for you when you grow up. Now think of reasons why this would be a good job for you. Write an essay to explain why this is your ideal job.

Prompt 5: It’s “Career Day” at your school, and your classmates want to know about different occupations. Choose a job that interests you and write a report about it.

Prompt 6: You saw a help wanted ad for a job that is perfect for you. Write a letter to the hiring manager explaining why you are right for the job.

Prompt 7: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person has ten different jobs before age forty. Yet when you start college, you are expected to know with certainty what career you will choose. Which do you think is better? Should you go to college knowing what you want to do without doubt, or should you work a variety of jobs until you find one that suits you best and then take courses for that career; even if it means delaying college for a while?

Prompt 8: You have the chance to be the first student astronaut to explore another planet. Would you accept the job? Give reasons why or why not.

Prompt 9: You got a summer job working for your neighbor, but after three days he fires you! Was it because of something you did? Are you embarrassed or relieved? What will you tell your parents? Write a short story about being fired from a job.

Prompt 10:  There are some careers that are dangerous. Believe it or not, fishing workers and loggers have a statistically more dangerous job than firefighters or police officers. Yet any one of those jobs could lead to death in the wrong circumstances. What do you think compels someone to work in a dangerous job? Do you think it’s for money, prestige or the thrill of cheating death on a daily basis? Write an essay explaining your point of view.

Prompt 11: Think of a career which would be an asset to your school, your community, or society as a whole. Write an essay explaining why the work is important and why it would be beneficial.

Prompt 12: Some people enjoy solitary jobs, like being a medical researcher or a writer. Others like to work in jobs where there is a more social setting, such as teachers and office workers. Which would you prefer and why? Write an essay explaining your choice and back up your decision with examples of why the job would work best for you. 

Prompt 13: You’ve always liked insects. You find them endlessly fascinating. Write an essay on the type of career you mind find if you want to work with bugs!

Prompt 14: You must decide on a future career right now. Your choices are either a job where you will make a lot of money, but will never be happy in your work, or a job that pays very little, but brings you great joy and satisfaction. Which job would you take and why?