The Interplay Between Purpose and Career Aspirations in Late Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood

Authors: 
Matthew J. Bundick, Postdoctoral Fellow, MacArthur Foundation Network on Transitions to Adulthood, The Pennsylvania State University

How do purpose development and the career decision-making process overlap in late adolescence and emerging adulthood? Starting with a brief discussion of the contemporary research, we will discuss questions such as: What potential might be held in the notion of career as "calling"? How can the construct of purpose help inform how educators (especially guidance counselors and student service professionals) in high schools and institutions of higher education provide career-related advice? Are there differences in the ways in which adolescents from different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds approach their career aspirations as purposeful pursuits?