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Exploring Meaning, Purpose, and Calling with the Millennial Generation Elizabeth Thompson Assistant Director, Career Center Career Center www.scu.edu/careercenter.

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Presentation on theme: "Exploring Meaning, Purpose, and Calling with the Millennial Generation Elizabeth Thompson Assistant Director, Career Center Career Center www.scu.edu/careercenter."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploring Meaning, Purpose, and Calling with the Millennial Generation Elizabeth Thompson Assistant Director, Career Center Career Center

2 Dead Poet’s Society Legend of Bagger Vance Career Center

3 Plans  Attributes of SCU and our students  Accompanying students with vocation discernment –Let Your Life Speak classes and the power of stories  Applications to other schools Career Center

4 SCU Attributes  8,700 students; 5,200 undergraduate students  53% female, 47% male  37% students of color  58% from California  42% representing 37 states, 16 countries Career Center

5 Millennial Students Career Center

6 Career Center “People are increasingly creeped out by tranquility; everywhere you look, people are glued to their cell phones, and it has become harder and harder to just sit in silence for a few minutes without feeling the urge to check your phone, send a quick message, or search through your phone mindlessly until the period of waiting is over. Haven’t we all had the experience of waiting for a friend or a class to start, when we pull out our cell phone and start messaging someone, simply because it feels awkward just sitting there?...Cell phones have bred a culture where it is simply uncomfortable to sit alone without being (or even looking) busy.” SCU Student Blog, The Technological Citizen

7 Career Center

8 “…distracted from distraction by distraction…” T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton, 1935 Career Center

9 “Today’s students are grappling with the more philosophical questions. What is my life’s purpose? What can I do to serve the greater good? What is my personal calling? In secular and non-secular institutions across the country, career practitioners are seeing students who want to discuss the deeper questions of career exploration and decision making.” Pamela Braun, Employers are Looking for Students Who Reflect on Life’s Bigger Questions. Campus Career Counselor, March 2005 Career Center

10 What are SCU Students Asking? Seeking meaningful work  What am I going to do when I graduate that I love to do and where I am making a difference?  How do I find my passion in my life?  How will I know if I have found the path meant for me? How can I tell? Ability to make a living  Can I balance a family, a checkbook, and a life dedicated to service?  How do people combine what they love with a job/career they enjoy and still make a living? Career Center

11  Work life balance  Is it possible to achieve work/life balance after graduation?  Family expectations  How do I balance my family’s expectations for me with my own interests? What are SCU Students Asking? Career Center

12 What are SCU recent alumni asking?  Most common issues –“I hate this job!” “This doesn’t give me joy.” -“I want a job, I’ll take any job, I need it now.” “The world doesn’t want/need me to do what I want/need to do.” Career Center

13 Vocation “The place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet." Frederich Buechner Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC Career Center

14 Three Key Questions  What brings you joy?  Are you good at these things?  Does anybody need you to do these things? Michael Himes, Boston College Career Center

15 Six Components of a Meaningful Life Journey  Reflection  Authenticity  Interconnection  Serendipity  Self trust  Exploration Career Center Career Center/Campus Ministry Collaboration

16 Let Your Life Speak classes  2-unit, elective, Career Center courses  Sophomore, juniors, and seniors  students in each class Career Center

17 Course Goals  Develop greater self-awareness through engagement with readings, assignments, and speakers to aid you in making academic and work decisions  Deepen your understanding of vocation and the application to your life  Identify majors and careers through a variety of resources and methods  Develop the skills necessary to successfully conduct an internship or job search, including the ability to articulate your “story” for purposes of networking, resume writing, and interviewing Career Center

18 Course Outcomes I have a greater sense of myself (interests, strengths, values) 100% I understand the meaning of vocation 100% I am aware of my personal vocation95% I know what resources are available to explore majors and/or careers100% I am close to making academic and/or work decisions100% I understand how to complete the various components of the job search, including networking, writing a resume, job search strategies, and interviewing100% Strongly Agree/Agree Let Your Life Speak: Assessing a Program to Explore Meaning, Purpose, and Calling with College Students, Journal of Employment Counseling, March 2010 Career Center

19 “The power [of mentors] is in their capacity to awaken a truth within us. [They] can awaken a sense of self and yield clues to who we are.” Parker Palmer Educator & Writer The Courage To Teach Career Center

20 Power of Stories For Students Career Center - Rich with meaning - Memorable - Allow students to take away what they need - Stir inside what calls for further attention

21 Power of Stories “Authentic teaching and learning requires a live encounter with the unexpected, an element of suspense and surprise, an evocation of that which we did not know until it happened. If these elements are not present, we may be training or indoctrinating students, but we are not educating them. In any arena of action – rearing children, counseling people, repairing machines, writing books – right action depends on yielding our images of particular outcomes to the organic realities of ourselves, the other, and the adventure of action itself.” Parker Palmer Educator & Writer The Courage to Teach Career Center For Staff

22 Power of Stories For alumni Career Center “The comments of the students brought tears to my eyes. I do not think about who I am or what I do, and so it was both surprising and moving to see how the students perceived my life and work. The unfolding each year of a differently nuanced conversation with the students about the role of social justice in my life gives new insights which are both enriching and meaningful to me. I also took away from the students in the class a strong surge of inspiration and the knowledge that the world will be a better place because of them.”

23 Modeling the Journey Through Stories  Reflection  Authenticity  Interconnection  Serendipity  Self-trust  Exploration Career Center

24 My Story: Developing Authenticity in the Workplace  Consider times you felt “most yourself.” What was the situation? What allowed you to be “most yourself?” What qualities and characteristics were brought out in you? Career Center

25 My Story: Developing Authenticity in the Workplace Career Center

26 My Story: Teaching Points  Growth happens when we take risks and enter uncomfortable territory  There is power and freedom in trusting and embracing our unique gifts v. trying to emulate someone else Career Center

27 Tell Your Story  Identify 1 question on handout you would like to address  Identify specific, concrete, personal example  Identify teaching points  Share your story with your partner, 3-4 minutes Career Center

28 Questions. Reflection. Discussion. Career Center

29 Using Alumni Stories on Your Campus  Let Your Life Speak classes  Arts & Science Career Celebration  Alumni Panels  Website  Alumni Shadowing Program  Other – Be creative! Career Center

30 Letters to A Young Poet “I beg you… to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer…” Rainer Rilke Career Center


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