What is your life’s purpose?
My mission in life is to be kind to people and animals.

How are you living your purpose?
I try every day to live my mission, knowing that sometimes I will fail but I also try to apologize sincerely and continue on my journey.

I’m passionate about my work. I work in Career Development on the alumni side of the University of Chicago. I recruit speakers from the University of Chicago community (alumni, parents, and friends) to present webinars on a variety of career-related topics.  I request working titles, blurbs, descriptions of what the presenter will be talking about, and a photo.  I ask for all these items so that I may promote the webinars well to our alumni audience.  I moderate the webinars, use fun facts about the presenter during the introduction, and include polls to engage the participants and help them feel more connected to the presenter.

I want to help alumni, parents, and friends of the University achieve their goals and encourage them to look and reach back to others once they are on their way. Learning their story enables me to shift from my perspective to theirs, to reflect back what they are telling me. It’s an imperfect mirror but when they tell me that others have mentioned similar strengths in the past and now I’m saying it too, I feel lighter for having been part of their journey.

Many of our webinar presenters have drawn significant numbers of participants. Favorites include:
Lauren Forest on the topic of Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile
Tony Mayo on the question Would I Benefit from Coaching?
Sheila Oh on An Unconventional Path to Finding Your Ideal Job

I currently have 4 dogs, and 4 foster cats (well, two cats, each with a kitten). The dogs bring me so much joy with their antics. I’ve learned over the last two decades of having multiple dogs at once that they each have their own personalities. I love their silliness and their joie de vivre.  When I ask, “Who’s the good dog?”  they each know that it’s them! I also volunteer at an animal shelter, the South Suburban Humane Society. They “walk the talk.” For example, this past June, they held a free vaccination clinic in Chicago Heights (where the shelter resides) and encouraged pet owners to spay/neuter their dogs; 26 people pre-paid for the surgery.

How did you find your purpose?
I grew knowing that my mom almost died giving birth to me and I was very nearly given up as a “lost cause” because of these circumstances.  My father refused to give up on me as a newborn and I think that knowing how precarious life can be, I wanted to be grateful for every minute.  It’s not always easy but few things that are worthwhile are easy.

What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
It’s in you; just listen. Listening can mean sitting quietly at the end of each day and going over what made you happy, what are you grateful for in your work and leisure. Or it can be writing it down so that you can look for patterns of happiness.

What resources do you recommend?
I’m reading a great book right now called, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen. I like the book because the authors use real-life examples and not just from work but home as well. I recognize myself in many scenarios and they give great advice.

I also follow a lot of courses on Lynda.com to reinforce what I should be doing to help coach employees and to communicate more effectively.

I loved the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink. He talks about motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic, and how you can inadvertently demotivate someone when your intention was the opposite.

Because I’m always interested in improving the webinars we offer, I watch several per month to get ideas on what makes a great presentation and if speakers have questions for me, I share what I’ve seen that has great impact.

Connect with Lucie Sandel
Email: lsandel@uchicago.edu
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