I Love My Job! Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Ty Pennington
If you're working practically 24/7, jetting back and forth from jobsite to jobsite and only taking a few days off per year, you'd better love your job. Ty Pennington, the enthusiastic, hands-on host of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is so busy with shows in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain that things like pets and plants are out of the question.
"I'm a little creative beaver," he laughs, chatting with AOL Jobs for a few minutes while he's in the car driving to another appointment. "I always have my hands and feet in about 14 different buckets." And that's by choice, not necessity.
You're probably most familiar with him as the guy shouting "Move that bus!" through a megaphone, as families cry and neighbors cheer at the final result of one of his crew's extreme home makeovers. But Pennington is so much more than a construction crew cheerleader. He's not afraid to jump in with both feet, visiting each site, creating designs and plans, explaining them to his crew, then jetting to another site to do the same.
Once that's accomplished, he goes back to the first site to help with the finish work, and make sure everything is ready for the Big Reveal.
He always has two or three projects going in different parts of the country at the same time. And that's just for the hit ABC show.
Ty Goes Global
When there's downtime in between seasons of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, he's off to Great Britain, hosting and executive-producing "Ty's Great British Adventure," a community improvement series, or "Homes for the Brave," which focuses on improving the homes and lives of soldiers who served in Afghanistan for the British Army. He says that he'd like to do a version of that one in the U.S. someday. In the meantime, he's also working in Canada on the new series, "Inside the Box with Ty Pennington," for Canada's W Network.
Back in the United States, Pennington has even more projects on his plate: He has a high quality furniture line called Howard Miller Furnishings by Ty Pennington; a Sears seasonal home decor line called Ty Pennington Style; a decor fabric line called Ty Pennington Impressions; and a hardwood floor line for Lumber Liquidators -- the Ty Pennington Collection.
Just one of those jobs would make most people's heads spin. But Ty believes in striking while the iron's hot -- he's always worked at a feverish pace. While he was studying graphic design at art school, he was paying the bills by renovating houses, painting, and doing finish work. He also was going on auditions, and doing production work on the sets of TV shows. He could never sit still.
Where It Began
"Trading Spaces" was his first big break. He feels it was an important show that paved the way for so many home improvement projects today, as it was one of the first to show the actual homeowners doing the work and getting involved, instead having professionals do it. That's also the show that got Pennington hooked on seeing an emotional reaction, which carries him through his frantic pace today.
"I actually have the chance to work creatively as an artist, make a difference in people's lives, and see that change on someone's face," he says, noting that when you paint a picture or sing a song, you don't always get that immediate affirmation. "I work with a wonderful team that goes above and beyond -- nothing compares to seeing how we've been able to help someone. I'm addicted to that rush."
That's why he only needs a few days of downtime between projects before he gets restless. When he's home in Los Angeles, which isn't often, he'll "clock out" by going to the beach, surfing, playing guitar, seeing friends and generally "chilling."
"I love my job. I can't stay away from it for long," he says.
His advice to others who would like a job they love as much as he loves his, he suggests following one's instincts and passion.
"Try to be as genuine as you can be," he says. "Feel your way -- don't think so hard. I was just trying to be creative and use my hands, and I found a way to not only be true to that, but to give back. It doesn't get any better than that. When you love your job, you love your life."
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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.