This Week on Living Smart:
The Living Smart episode “Finding Job Fulfillment,” airs Sunday May 22nd at 3 p.m. on HoustonPBS. This episode features Rebecca Lunstroth, a former corporate Human Resources Manager. In this episode, Lunstroth discusses how people allow the uncertainty of job transitions to rule their lives, and advises others to not be afraid of looking for their dream job.
Missed last week’s episode?
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. This Friday at 10 p.m. check out the Living Smart episode “Healthy Mother, Healthy Child,” featuring yoga instructor and author Elizabeth Irvine. In this episode, Irvine shares insight into how to sustain a healthy and meaningful lifestyle that incorporates an integrative approach to great health, meaning focusing on diet, exercise and breathing, sleep, proper relaxation, meditation and positive thinking.
Find What You Love, Love What You Do
By Cassady Lance, Production Assistant
What are you passionate about? Is this a question you ever really think about? With
the effects of the recent recession still weighing heavy on many Americans, and the
monotony of a daily routine, few think about what really motivates them.
Rebecca Lunstroth, assistant director of the John McGovern Center for Humanities
and Ethics at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, finding your true
passion should be a priority when it comes to your career.
In this upcoming episode of “Living Smart with Patricia Gras,” Lunstroth tells us why
it is never too late to make a move and find fulfillment in your job. As an instructor,
she teaches medical humanities and ethics. She oversees all of the programs,
including the center’s sacred vocation program, a workplace change program which
seeks to create sustained changes by helping employees experience meaning in their
Prior to her current position, Lunstroth had a well-paying corporate career at
an oil company. After 14 years, she says she realized she was never cut out for it.
Lunstroth decided to make a change. She knew it was time to leave her passionless
corporate job behind, and look for a position that would be both meaningful and
Whether you are a recent graduate who is looking for a new career or a professional
who just isn’t feeling fulfilled in your current job, Lunstroth stresses it is never too
late to search for the job you want and that will make you happy; and she has some
helpful advice on how to go about finding a fulfilling career.
“The first thing to do is to put down on paper kind of what makes you tick, and so
much about what you do has to do with where you work and the people you
work with. What is the kind of environment you think you would do best in? Is
it a creative environment? Is it an office environment? Is it a field job? It’s really
looking—you don’t need a career coach to do this. It’s really sitting down and
finding out what makes you tick. Everyone needs to ask themselves that question.
What is going to get you up in the morning? What is going to make you work your
hardest, be your proudest, motivate you, etcetera, etcetera. “
It turns out that Lunstroth is not the only person who feels this way. Jessica
Hernandez, president and CEO of Great Resumes Fast, also says it is important to
keep passion on your checklist at any stage in life.
“Sometimes, simply making a list will cause you to see a common theme and you
can easily identify a career that would best suit your talent, passion and interests,” Hernandez says.
While soon-to-be or recent college graduates should still keep their passions and
interests in check, they may need to approach the job search in a different way.
Kendra Nelsen, director for student services at the UVA Office of University Career
Services stresses that flexibility is key when it comes to finding a job after college.
Students also need to be proactive when it comes to finding employment in their
first few years after graduation.
Katy Hopkins, a journalist for US News gives job seekers more to think about when
she references more of Nelsen’s expertise:
Instead of focusing solely on scoring a dream job, UVA’s Nelsen prods her students
to be open to positions in fertile industries that use similar skill sets as their ideal
position might. Even if a student wishes to become an event planner or work in
marketing, for instance, it might be best to consider how those job attributes might
fit into positions in the healthcare or technology fields, where jobs are relatively
ample, in the hopes that skills acquired there can one day be parlayed into their
ideal career, she says. “Of course pursue what might be your ideal [job], but also
break it apart and get experience wherever you can get experience,” Nelsen
said. “Any experience that has a piece or two of what you’re trying to go for
eventually can still be valuable.”
Some other valuable information to consider: the job outlook for 2011 graduates is
much more positive than it was for graduates in recent years. According to studies
by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), this positivity is
coming from early economic indicators. The NACE also says that 53 percent of
employers surveyed intend to hire more college graduates from the class of 2011
than from the previous year, a jump from less than 50 percent who reported they
would in a fall survey.
Regardless of statistics or what experts say, it is up to you to find your own
interests and passions. Statistics cannot tell you what will make you happy, and
experts cannot tell you if you are where you need to be. Only you can answer those
pertinent questions that can lead you to a life of happiness and fulfillment.
And while happiness is important, don’t confuse it with reality. Lunstroth reminds
us that we need to keep ourselves in check as we search for our dream jobs.
“They call it work for a reason. There is seldom is going to be a job that you like
every single aspect of it, whether it be your commute, how far away the bathroom is,
the co-worker, any number of things, but it’s really figuring out what it is you don’t
Whether you approach your checklist with likes and dislikes or pros and cons, just
make one, and find out how you can make your professional life a happier one.
Whether you are just starting out or ready for a mid-life change – IT’S NEVER TOO
So now that you’ve had some time to think, let me ask you again… what are you
To learn more about job satisfaction tune in to “Living Smart with Patricia Gras” on
Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m.
US NEWS (Brighter Job Outlook for 2011)
US BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
TRADING ECONOMICS (US Unemployment Rate)
HUFFINGTON POST (Outlook for College Graduates)