Book addresses spirituality, self-understanding in career development

The second edition of a career development and spiritual companion for those in a job, career or retirement transition has been released by Thomas Bachhuber ’71 of Wauconda, Illinois. TranSpirations: Guidance for the Head & Heart through Career and Beyond was inspired by Bachhuber’s personal and professional experiences, those of other career experts and spiritual writers.

It is available on

TranSpirations is not the typical job search or career development book but rather a tool to empower one and help one understand themselves on a deeper level, Bachhuber says. He explains that the deeper, more spiritual understanding of oneself that his book provokes is the key to finding clarity and courage in challenging career-related transitions.

“I’ve always felt there was something deep inside of us,” he says. “It is important to discover that in order to figure out how you want to make a difference in the world.”

Bachhuber was inspired to add another chapter to his book after reading a quote by Catholic Saint Ignatius of Loyola: “In calling me to live my special qualities and characteristics, God planted deep in myself an original purpose — -what my concrete self adds up to — and the desire to live that out.”

He says this quote nicely contributes to the ideas in his book, thus prompting the release of a second edition that includes additional content about Ignatian spirituality. The new edition contains a chapter connecting Ignatian spirituality to career-related transitions, showing how one’s concrete self is intertwined with their vocation, he says.

Bachhuber says TranSpirations can apply to anyone at any point in their careers, including college students preparing to embark on their career journeys.

At Ripon, he majored in economics. He says that when he was a student nearing the end of his time at Ripon College, he felt lost and uncertain of how to move forward after graduation. He says this challenging time was important in developing his ability and motivation to begin his career and eventually write a career-related book.

Ripon College “was a special community,” he says. “It developed in me the beginning of what I needed to move forward with my career, and part of that was to believe in myself.” He adds that the relationships he formed at the College helped him believe that he could go on to earn a Ph.D., work in a university and eventually help others find their own purposes in life.

He received a master of education and doctorate in counseling from the University of Virginia. Bachhuber continues to help others find their purposes, both through his career at The Center for Life Transitions Inc. and through his book.

Amanda Barlow ’23
Appleton, Wisconsin

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