Dietetic Career Spotlight: Jana Greene Hand, RD
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on MAY 7, 2013
Find out how taking risks can result in being a successful entrepreneur and finding your dream job with your second career choice just like Jana Greene Hand. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I was in a career during my early twenties that I found very uninspiring and I yearned to do something with real meaning. I had always loved science and nutrition and wanted to find a way to help motivate and educate people in a life-changing way. Becoming a Registered Dietitian was the perfect avenue for me to help people on a personal level to make tangible changes in their lives that would lead to real results.
Your Job Title?
CEO and Founder at Helping Hand Nutrition. I am also Clinical Site Coordinator at Cal State LA’s Coordinated Dietetics Program
Company you are with now?
Helping Hand Nutrition
California State University, Los Angeles
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
Wake up, get my baby girl and 3 year old son ready for the day, get myself ready, email tomorrow’s patients their appointment reminders, go to work. During the day, I see anywhere from 3-15 patients, ranging from weight loss or weight gain patients, to those with pediatric feeding issues, diabetes, hypertension, IBS, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, and other types of conditions mediated by nutrition. In between patients, I talk to referring doctors, work on marketing my practice, call patients back, send patients their bills, and schedule new patients. On lighter days, between patients I grade students papers and work on my curriculum for my dietetic interns at Cal State LA.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I started my own practice on a part-time basis when my son was an infant. I wanted a job with flexible hours where I knew I would get along great with my boss :-)
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I have always been entrepreneurial and a good self-starter with good time management skills. In addition, having good interpersonal communication skills and being very passionate about what I do keeps me committed to patients first and foremost. My first career after college (that I mentioned before) was in medical marketing and sales, so I used a lot of the skills I learned at that job to help me market my practice to get it off the ground. I am also very committed to networking with other RDs and researching the most current treatment guidelines for different medical and nutrition conditions. This has served me well, because in addition to marketing and running a business, it is imperative that private practice RDs stay current on MNT treatment guidelines in an environment that can be isolating.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
If you are in a career that is leaving you unfulfilled, don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new. I’ve learned that anything worth having is worth the risk of having it not work out. You will never know unless you try. My motto when I was changing careers and going back to school was “Leap, and the net will appear.” It gave me a little more confidence when taking risks. And, boy, am I glad it did. I have one million percent more job satisfaction than I ever knew was even possible!!
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Ha! TIME. I could definitely use a couple more hours in the day or days in the week to get stuff done!