By Christian Hawkins
Spencer is an energetic and likeable student that I’ve had the privilege of watching as he matures. When he neared high school graduation, he started contemplating what he was going to do next in life. His best friend’s enthusiasm for the military swayed Spencer to consider it as well. They spent lots of time thinking and talking about serving together in the Army.
While Spencer’s parents were supportive of military service, there was something about it that concerned them. They couldn’t help but wonder if this was the best path for Spencer. They were encouraged and excited to learn about Careers With A Purpose student services, which are designed to help students gain insights to themselves and enable good post high school decisions.
They told me that Spencer’s entire family was very close to his friend’s family. They and their sons had lots of conversations about planning for their futures. There always seemed to be many challenging questions, with no clear pathway to make definitive plans.
Being in the position to coach Spencer was exciting to me. I knew that I could give Spencer and his parents the tools they needed to successfully launch his future. Spencer started by completing the assessment provided in the Careers With A Purpose student program. What makes this assessment unique is that this completed assessment is followed by a certified coach unpacking the results. Students are not just left to decipher the resulting report by themselves. I set up sessions with both Spencer and his parents to review and discuss how these results can apply directly to his life going forward. Should that include further education such as college or vocational training, military service, taking a gap year, or joining the workforce? This assessment can help in guiding his decisions about his future.
It came as no surprise to Spencer’s parents that many of the traits we discovered confirmed that there could be some challenges to Spencer if he goes into the military. His extraordinarily high independence, coupled with a strong propensity to speak the truth as he perceives it, allowed us to talk about military enlistment scenarios. Spencer also has a desire to give comfort and aid to people. In fact, in the past he had often thought of becoming involved in full-time ministry and was super excited to contemplate this as a career path. Spencer’s parents quickly agreed with the traits revealed in the report and told me how relieved they were to know how to apply Spencer’s traits to his future.
Spencer applied for a ministry training program at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While waiting for his acceptance letter, this gave us an opportunity to explore alternative career paths. Together we discovered that being an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is also a good career fit; however, that would require more advanced education at the community college or vocational level. The relief that came from having two paths that Spencer was genuinely excited about was a relief to both Spencer and his parents.
Spencer graduates this summer from Desperation Ministry Academy at New Life Church, successfully completing their eleven-month ministry training program. Spencer has been offered a paid internship at his home church in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Spencer’s mom wrote me saying:
“Thank you, Christian, for walking us through the results of my son’s evaluation. It was both confirming and surprising. The greatest value, of course, was that it drew out the strengths that God has placed in him, which are sometimes difficult for him to see. This was a great tool to investigate for what purpose he was knit together. The next greatest value was seeing the many ways that he can use those gifts in his life and chosen career. It would have been impossible for us to come up with such an extensive list on our own. Some of the careers we never would have thought about if not for this process. I am so excited to see if this becomes a confirmation for a path he was looking at traveling, or if it will be the start of one that hadn’t yet even been dreamed of. Either way, I know that he will look back on this evaluation and on your coaching as a critical and helpful launching point. May the Lord bless you in your important coaching work!”