Career Development Icebreaker and Exercise - Three Shining Moments

Brief Description/Purpose

Ideal as an icebreaker for any content, but of particular use in career development, and job search seminars, since it helps learners identify what turns their cranks


Small Group Work although it can be adapted for the entire group.

Age Appropriate

Teens, Adults

Ideal Group Size

Any size if you do it as a small group exercise, but too many groups means the reporting takes too long.

Time For Exercise

15 to 30 minutes


Careers, Team Building

Detailed Instructions If Needed

  1. If using the small groups option, get people into groups of four or less.
  2. Ask each group to share and identify three shining moments in their work lives or careers that have really stood out as shining moments. These could be awards, compliments, an impossible task achieved, promotion, etc.
  3. As them to come up with 3 for the group to present.
  4. Go from group to group getting reports.

Debrief and Exercise Questions:

  • In your groups, and listening to other groups did some themes emerge -- commonalities?
  • When you look at your own shining moments, can you identify the type of things that turn your crank about work?
  • Can you transform these crank turners into thoughts on what might be a good job for you, and something that will get you really excited?
  • Do you need suggestions from the rest of the group on what might be good careers that you would find motivating given your shining moments?

Additional Information if Available

As a straight icebreaker, better to use the whole group and get input from various people. Also good as a team development activity since it helps people in the team get to know each other better.

Remember that icebreakers should go quickly. Thirty minutes is too long, unless there are specific content goals being met.