“Path to Purpose” Workshop Equips Students to Align Values and Passion with Career

(3BL Media and Just Means)- From January 19 through January 25, Bard College is set to host Bard Works, their annual career development conference for their undergraduate students. Bard Works is a weeklong series of workshops, panels, small group discussions, and individual counseling sessions that focus on getting a job and acquiring general career skills and strategies, plus networking and life skills. In partnership with the Center for Nature and Leadership (CNL), “Path to Purpose,” a pre-workshop of Bard Works, will help students develop skills and strategies to align career goals and life values. By bringing nature-based leadership and career development together, the Millennial generation will be equipped to craft a clear vision of their contribution to the world by aligning their career path with their passion and purpose before entering the workforce. “Path to Purpose” will empower Bard undergraduates 'who seek to distinguish themselves in the workforce by leveraging their unique skill sets for a career that focuses on making a difference.'

                "You can find a way to create a career and life that connects your passions, but most people don't know that, " Lindsay Fahey,  CNL Partner, told me.

                 "I learned that at age 30. Why can't the younger generation learn that at 20? My values and passions were in conflict, which led to turmoil for me. I want to plant seeds for younger generations, even if they don't pursue it right away.  A real desire for us [at CNL] is for people to stop applying to jobs and start evaluating them."

Attendees of the “Path to Purpose” workshop will practice evaluating job descriptions with three criteria:  First, can I bring something unique to this organization?  Second, does this job align with my values? Third, am I passionate about it?

                "We want students to get into the habit and practice of determining whether a job is the right fit for them.  Each individual has a value added that only they can bring to an organization.  We want to help them develop their unique value proposition which is a combination of natural talents, professional skills, and unique life experience," explained BeverlyWinterscheid, Founding CNL Partner and Leadership Development Professor in the Bard Sustainability MBA Program.

                "Bard College wanted to provide a pre-workshop that values the fundamental. Your personal values are fundamental to your career. Values and purpose are so tightly aligned. From a career planning standpoint, people often skip this part. This is very unique to each person. We desire to evokea person's early experience to their passion and purpose in life. "

As reported by Erin Cannan, the Dean of Student Affairs at Bard College, 15 students are currently signed up for the “Path to Purpose” Workshop.

                 "We started the Bard Works program because it allows students a framework to organize their next steps either in securing internships or first jobs. Many of our students want to align their values with their career and Path to Purpose provides them an opportunity to more fully explore how to go about it," Cannan explained.

According to Fahey, people who select career opportunities that are true with their values, have a higher rate of success in their jobs.     

                "When people think about their career, it's often 'job first, me second.' Instead, we want to teach people to ask, 'how do I fit into that job?' It should be 'me first, job second.' Instead of climbing the corporate ladder, you have to care for your life energy first," Fahey said.

The Path to Purpose Program is a regular program offered by CNL and can be taught in a variety of settings, as both one-day workshops and weekend retreats. Contact Lindsay Fahey at lindsay@natureleadership.org to schedule or for more information.

The Center for Nature and Leadership is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based out of Washington D.C. Stay tuned (you won't want to miss it) for a deeper look at their work in a piece I'll publish next week. For more information about “Path to Purpose” and the Bard Works Program, read here.

Sources: Bard College, Center for Nature and Leadership