Discovering Your Purpose – GradPlan

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Discovering Your Purpose

Use your values to help determine a meaningful path forward

When thinking about what path you want to pursue in life, determining which values are most important to you is helpful. If you aren’t sure which values are most important, try our Vision Setting activity before moving forward.

If you already completed the Vision Setting activity, you can continue clarifying your future by exploring your interests, skills, and preferences for working with others.

Continued Self-Exploration

What are your interests and how do they connect with possible careers? What are you good at? How do you communicate? These big questions can be hard to answer, but we have some surveys to help you clarify your passions, strengths, and the types of environments you might enjoy working in. Pick one to get started.

The HIGH5 Test » (120 questions, 20 minutes)
This FREE test will help outline your five biggest strengths to provide you with more insight on what makes you thrive.

The Big 5 Test » (15 minutes)
This more commonly used personality test will help you consider your strengths, communication styles, and likely interests

Reflect! What did you learn from doing one (or both) of the strengths tests? Did the outcome match how you see yourself? What surprised you? Write down your results and your reflection.


Career Connections

Now that you’ve reflected on your values, set some intentions and used one of the tests above to determine your strengths, you’re ready to find careers that match your values, interests, and talents.

To gain insight on how your interests align with different career options, take one of the assessments below. Each one only takes about 10 minutes. Answer as honestly as possible for the best results – there are no right or wrong answers!

Career Fitter »
Answer a series of questions about your preferences and how you relate to people to learn about careers that fit your strengths, work personality and ideal working environment.

Career Characteristics »
Share how much you value certain tasks and working environments to learn about jobs that line up with your interests and working style.

What’s it all mean?

Ponder, journal, or sketch your response to these reflection questions to help make sense of what you’ve identified and learned about your personality, interests, and potential career options.

Your Interests

  1. What possible career pathways felt exciting and why?
  2. What possible career pathways felt unexpected for you? Can you see yourself following these paths? Why or why not?
  3. What else do you want to know about each career option you are considering? Who might be able to help?


  1. What type of training or education is required for the careers you are considering?
  2. How long will it take?
  3. Does this match what you are prepared to do right now?

Tip! The more your vision matches your interests and your needs the more likely you are to have success. For example, if you are feeling tired of school and you want a break, a medical career with 7-9 years of education may not be the best fit for you at this time. Whereas, a 4-month EMT training program might be just what the doctor ordered. 🤷


  1. What is the income range of the careers you are considering? Would this career put you below, above, or at a similar place with your family’s current financial situation?
  2. If you have financial goals, or lifestyle goals, can you see a path to these goals through the career choices you are considering?
  3. Which option best balances the level of education or training you want to do with the amount of money you want to make?

Want More to Explore?

Check out Ruben’s Story. He is a Chicago student whose journey took him down different pathways at two different colleges before he landed on the major that matched his talents and interests.

Use Roadtrip Nation to learn additional information about specific careers such as:

  • Average salary
  • Level of education required
  • Job growth over the past several years

If you still are struggling to find inspiration, check out this 2-minute video, called the “Purpose Challenge”. It may help you to think about this process differently.

Next Step: Finding Your Fit»

This will help you figure out what programs fit with the career vision you have for yourself. Do you need a 4-year degree to achieve your dreams, or will a 2-year degree or job training certification get you going faster? Check it out!

Recommended Resources


Explore Your Options
Set My Vision

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist