The College & Career Navigation Crisis

Students and recent graduates are struggling to navigate the road ahead. No matter how hard they work, they feel less sure of themselves and their futures. Graduation rates are at an all-time high, yet a majority of high schoolers are disengaged in school and only 1 in 3 students are prepared for college coursework. Students are attending college at historic rates, yet most regret the college they attend, their major, or their career path.

This discontent follows them into the workplace; two-thirds of the workforce feel negatively about their jobs.

This college and career navigation crisis is symptomatic of a generation of overworked, disengaged, and disillusioned young people.

What’s going on? Why all the struggle to find meaningful direction in life?

A Lifeline

The How To Navigate Life newsletter provides science based insight into how to find your way during inflection points. These are the times in life where the decisions you make can alter the course of your life—deciding on a school, a major, a career direction, a new job, and all the little spaces in between. 

This newsletter aims to fill a critical gap in the advice young people get about school, work, and life: how to decide for themselves what to do

At every turn, we have people telling us what we should do. Someone is always suggesting to us what major or career to pursue, restaurant to try, car to buy, person to marry, and on and on.

Students turn to Buzzfeed style diagnostics and listicles for direction in choosing a job. Parents refer to “Top 500 College” books or US News World Report looking for insights. Professionals scroll articles promising the magic formula for workplace success and happiness. 

But algorithms can’t tell us what type of person we want to become.

A listicle can’t tell us what our core values are.

An article can’t help determine what type of impact we make on the world.

Nothing can replace the deep introspection and self-awareness needed to identify the direction we want our lives to take.

This newsletter’s aim: not tell you what you should do, but provide you tools and deep insight, so you have a framework for making your own life decisions.

We are educators, mentors, and mental health professionals, and our life’s work has been to equip students and young professionals to work and live with purpose. Our newsletter themes will especially focus on education and workplace journeys. And we share articles with broader appeal because living out your purpose is relevant and good for everyone.

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Wait, Who Are You?

“How To Navigate Life” may seem like an audacious title, but we mean exactly that. The principles we share with you are carefully researched and relevant to school, the workplace, and many aspects of managing and navigating life. 

For a deep dive, pre-order our forthcoming book, How To Navigate Life.

Belle Liang, PhD

Dr. Belle is a Professor at Boston College in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development and a licensed clinical psychologist. She is a nationally recognized scholar in mentoring and cultivating purpose in young people, principal investigator and director of Purpose Lab, and author of nearly 100 academic journal articles and papers.  Of all these roles, there is none greater than parenting a high school student and a college student, who keep teaching her life’s greatest lessons. 

Tim Klein, LCSW

Tim is an award-winning urban educator, clinical therapist and school counselor. He has spent the last decade working intensively with marginalized and underserved students to equip them to pursue meaningful and fulfilling lives. Tim has served as an Outreach Director for Summer Search, a national youth development non-profit that serves low-income first generation students, and as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University. Currently, he is an Adjunct Lecturer and the Project Lead of True North, a purpose program at Boston College.

Why You Should Subscribe

We will share with you science that works. We translate research into resources you can easily apply in real life. We spend a lot of time scouring academic journals for cutting edge research to advance our own research and practice. We want you to benefit as well. 

Specifically, the newsletter will include:

Real-life stories from our award-winning work with students and graduates that illustrate the power and importance of purposeful life navigation.

Accessible overviews of the most promising research and evidence-based best practices from our lab and the field demonstrating how to practice purpose in school, career, and various aspects of life.

Strategies and Resources, including activities and worksheets that parents and other mentors can immediately use to support students and graduates in their pursuit of meaningful work and meaningful lives. 

We hope you will join us!