From Backpack to Briefcase

Orange County Career Briefs

From Backpack to Briefcase is an instructional guide with fourteen personal and workplace success skills lessons, each with fillable PDF collaborative student activity pages.

What This Includes

Skill addressed: Attitude, Verbal Communication, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Conflict Resolution, Resilience, Listening, Critical Thinking, Time Management, Work Ethic, Leadership, Professionalism & Networking

Learner content

  • Fourteen lesson plans for developing personal and workplace success skills and career building skills, such as team building and networking
  • Fillable PDF student worksheets for both individual and collaborative activities

Instructor content

  • Each of the 14 lessons comes with background information on the skill being taught and a lesson plan resource.

Key Takeaways

  • Short lessons build discrete personal and workplace success skills. Each classroom activity ends with a Take it to Work lesson. For example, in the lesson on teamwork, learners work in teams to analyze and discuss statements about teamwork. They then practice sharing a successful teamwork experience for job interview practice.
  • The lessons are designed for community college–level students but would work well in high school equivalency and workforce development settings.
  • The activities are designed to be used in an in-person class setting but would work in a remote learning setting with some adaptation.
  • Lessons can be used individually, taught as an entire course, or integrated into a curriculum.
  • The PDF lesson plans are easy to read and use, but practitioners may need Adobe Acrobat Pro to separate out individual student worksheet pages.

This guide was developed in 2012 by Coast Colleges for California Community College faculty and career professionals. It is part of the Orange County Career Briefs free print resources for community colleges.

Adaptability & Flexibility


Critical & Creative Thinking

Emotional Intelligence

Leadership & Initiative


Teamwork & Collaboration

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