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Set My Vision

When thinking about what you want to do next in life, try setting a clear vision of success, rooted in your personal values. Define your why so you have a reason that drives you towards your college and career goals.

Purpose…“The place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet”

Frederick Buechner, American writer and theologian

The Purpose Challenge

  • So let’s talk about values. What do you value in your life? What is most important to you? What are the words you live by or things you commit to? Family? Friendships? Freedom? Health? Fun? Honesty? Intelligence? Money? Security? Helping others? Creativity? Self Care? Growth?
  •  Your values are often rooted in your identity, your culture, history, experiences, and relationships. Think about how that has shaped who you are, what you care about, and the impact you want to have on yourself, others, and the system (the world) as a whole.
  • Try to name your top five values in rank order. For example, my top values are:
    1. Family
    2. Security
    3. Forgiveness
    4. Continuous Learning
    5. Helping Others
  • Now think about what each value looks like, sounds like, and feels like. For example, “I value peace. What that looks like is me resolving conflicts with my words, not my fists.” or “I value security. That means I don’t have to choose between food on the table or rent.” For example:
    1. Family – My parents are proud of me and I can help them feel more secure. One day I want a family of my own when I can provide my kids with what they need.
    2. Security – I don’t have to worry about basic needs, food, rent, etc. And I can go on vacation or travel and own my own home.
    3. Forgiveness – I want to forgive others and myself. I want to move past trauma and not let it have a hold on me.
    4. Continuous Learning – I want to keep growing and learning new things and improving myself.
    5. Helping Others – I want to know that I’m having a positive impact on the world around me and my community. 
  • Now, based on your top three values  create an intention (something you are deeply committed to achieving) which honors those values and clarifies the mark you want to make in life now and in the future. Being completely honest with yourself and thinking carefully about your life right now, what do you want more of? What do you need to let go of?  Remember that you have the strength and wisdom inside you to achieve your intention. Examples might be
    • “It is my intention to achieve financial success so that my family can be safe and thrive” (Values might be money, security).
    • or “It is my intention to have  a career  that is creative” (creativity, fun, money).
    •  “It is my intention to make a difference in other people’s lives” (helping others).
  • After reflecting on what’s important to you and the commitment you want to make to your present and future self, take some time to explore your strengths and work preferences.  Try to figure out what you want to study. 
  • Strengths Profile
  • Work Preferences Survey
  • Explore Career Paths
  • Where do your strengths and interests align with a career or job sector that is growing? Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook on the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics site to search by:
    • Fastest growing jobs
    • Median salary
    • Entry-level education
    • Projected number of jobs
    • Browse by field of study.
  • Now that you’ve reflected on the identities that you hold, the values that motivate and sustain you, the careers that interest you, and what trends are happening in the job market, you are ready to craft your statement of self using the following sentence starters. Use this statement to anchor yourself as you chart your course and design your future!
  • Statement of Self
  • I am (My Identity)………
  • I can (My Strengths)……..
  • I like (My Interests)……
  • I believe (My Values)…..
  • My top three dream jobs are (My Career goals)…
  • In order to pursue my  dream and turn it into reality, I need to (My Next Steps):
    • Continue to:
    • Start:
    • Stop:

“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

-William Ernest Henley

No matter where you are in your decision making process, know that you deserve every opportunity to pursue your dreams and aspirations. Here are some stories to remind you that you are powerful and resilient and not alone on this journey. 

Listen to how Embrea overcame her doubts and created her own destiny.

Listen to Michelle Obama’s Best Advice to Students

Watch Wilkerlyne share how she overcame the naysayers in her life and stayed true to her postsecondary aspirations.

Watch Roger’s story about how he found his “why” for going to college.

Additional Links For Inspiration

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