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Finding Your Purpose

WHY Purpose?

Many students wonder why Purpose is important. Research shows that when people have a strong sense of purpose in life, they tend to be more happy and successful!

Success IN college: Purposeful young adults are more likely to...

  • Achieve higher grades and test scores
  • Engage in deep and meaningful learning
  • Graduate from college
  • Be healthy (psychologically and physically)

Success AFTER college: Purposeful young adults are more likely to...

  • Be satisfied in their life and work
  • Experience more meaningful lives
  • Be engaged with their work (or view their work as a calling)
  • Make more money

Bottom Line: By exploring and developing your purpose, you are setting youself up for a lifetime of success!

But WHAT is Purpose?

Pupose is defined as:

  • the feeling of being determined to do or achieve something
  • the aim or goal of a person
  • what a person is trying to do or become

But what does this mean to you? Well, you can describe YOUR Purpose as your life/career goals at the intersection of your:

  • abilities and skills
  • passions and interests
  • ways you want to help others (societal needs)

HOW can you explore your Purpose?

Purpose development may be a lifelong process, but for college students, it begins now! Here are 5 ways you can explore your purpose (and connect it to your major/ career goals):

  1. Work on the purpose exploration exercise to identify your skills/abilities, passions/interests, and ways you want to help others. If you get stuck, or are not sure what to write down, you can check out career assessments
  2. Set up a meeting with a Career Consultant (via Handshake) once you have made some progress on this purpose exploration exercise. Bring your completed purpose exploration exercise to discuss talk about some “purposeful” majors and careers.
  3. Investigate the majors/careers you discussed with your Career Consultant. Check out online resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook, O*Net, and “What Can I do With This Major”.
  4. Learn about and gain experience in career fields you're interested in by informational interviews and job shadowing, as well as through summer jobs and internships
  5. Get more experience: volunteer, student org leadership, undergraduate research and other extracurricular activities. These experiences not only build your self awareness, but they also look great on a resume!

Career Assessments

To help you examine, understand, and talk about how your interests, personality, values, and skills combine to make you who you are.
Taking A Career Assessment

Interest Fields

Here's a great resource with details about broad list of career fields that may be of interest to you. Learn more about where you'd like to go after college.
Interest Fields

What can you do with your major?

College is about helping you develop the depth and breadth of your knowledge and skills. Here's a cool resource to help you learn more about different majors translate into likely careers.
What Can I Do With This Major?