It’s that time of the year where commencement ceremonies and graduation parties are being held in celebration of many years of hard work and dedication to your education.  If you are a senior or a recent grad, there is no doubt you’re thinking about your future and trying to work out a plan that fits who you are today, and who you hope to be in 20 years time.  Not an easy task!

Continued education into graduate school may work for some who are crystal clear on their purpose in life, and if so, kudos to you.  Go forth and conquer!  However the majority of young adults in this position are usually confused and a little scared about what the future may bring and are still unsure of what they want to be when they “grow up”.  This is normal and here are 3 recommendations to getting clear on your passion and purpose in life.

1.  Volunteer

There is something very powerful about giving your time and energy to people or an organization, while trying to decipher your own life plan.  If you have an idea of the career you’d like to pursue, there is no greater way to gain experience as well as an understanding what that job really looks like in the flesh, than to volunteer.  Contact organizations and get in touch with their volunteer coordinator or Human Resources manager and reach out to them.  This type of arrangement is a win-win, and sometimes you may determine that your perception of a certain career path and the reality of it, are very different.  Best to know this before spending thousands of dollars in grad school.

2.  Go on a mission

Certain organizations and church groups run missions to impoverished countries or locally with communities that need help.  If you’re unsure of what you want to do after graduation, go on a mission.  Seeing life through different eyes and experiencing different cultures, traditions and ways of life is something I think each one of us should be exposed to at some point in our lives.  Organizations such as http://www.yom.gov do local and international missions, as do http://www.ymam.org.  Get involved and see what life has to offer.

3.  Travel

If you can afford to get away, after what seems like a lifetime in the educational system, then do so.  It doesn’t have to be 3 months back-packing all over Europe, exploring you own backyard and taking time to reflect on your life and the abundance that life brings could be enough to clear your mind and give you the time and space to focus on your purpose in life.  Get clear on your passion/s so that you can serve others while serving yourself.  Pursuing a certain career in hopes of a “get rich quick” scheme is a myth.  Live your passion, and the money will follow.

These 3 ideas are just the beginning of the choices available to you.  Make informed, rational decisions and take your time in deciding.  Rash, hasty decisions usually end up costing more time and money in the long run, so be patient and do your research.  This is the time in your life where you can explore different avenues without repercussion.  People make career changes after 20 or 30 years in a certain field, which can work, however now is the time to try different things and see which one fits the best.