Thursday, August 18, 2011

Other paths

In life you find yourself on career paths sometimes not of your own design. I started in High School believing when I grew up I would be a drama teacher. In college, I followed a track for getting my teaching degree. I student taught. I loved it. Then as time approached for graduating I went to some career seminars. They told me with my personality, I would make barrels of money in sales and it would be ridiculous for me to teach. No money in that, and jobs were not plentiful.

So I went to interviews and was one of two people hired by Procter and Gamble out of many many applicants. I had fun for a while selling soap and I was very good at it. I got outstanding training for sales, perhaps the best in the country, but when my Mother was fighting Cancer, she was in Southern California and I was in Stockton. I asked for a transfer, I asked pretty please. I was driving to LA every weekend. They wouldn't transfer me, so I quit.

I played with several ideas of what else to do, I thought maybe airlines sales. Maybe, convention sales. I applied for dozens of jobs and even thought about getting unemployment because many companies did not understand my decision to leave P and G.

I applied for a job with Merck. My grandfather was the VP for sales on the West Coast when he was working. I went through a half a dozen interviews and was finally hired. They gave me the territory from San Bernadino to Arizona, calling on Doctors, Pharmacies, Hospitals for all of their drugs. It was a big territory, a big job and a very hard one for me. I out-sold all the old men who had the same job and was #1 in the region. The job was hard not because I couldn't sell, but because my Mother was dying. Then after she died, the week after, I went to a sales meeting and went through the motions like a robot learning about Flexeril. Without trying I would outsell other people in the region, but I was going through the motions. Then a deep an dark depression hit me as my Mother's death sank in. I found it hard to show up everyday. I found it hard to get out of bed. My boss on more than one occasion would have been the poster child for "sexual harassment". I was not happy.

I quit my job.

I went back to school to get my Master's degree in counseling in the schools. I substitute taught. I bought a house (actually two). I rediscovered my friend Glenn, and got engaged. I left school with 3 units remaining, and didn't "work" until after the kids were older. Then it was Weight Watchers as a leader, PTA as a PTA President, A linen store as a clerk, Non profit work as a passionate co-founder.

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1996. And after I emerged from the treatment and as my hair had returned (albeit short and curly and grey) I knew college loomed for the girls. I knew I would need to assist in the household income to get the kids through school. I went through a few interviews for drug company jobs, disappointed to find I had a higher paying job in 1977! So Glenn looked at me and said "Duh, you are supposed to sell houses. You collect miniature houses, peruse the Open house section of the paper every weekend. you are great at sales."

And that is what I did. I got my license and immediately went to work. I was rookie of the year for Coldwell Banker in Marin and each year bettered myself until I was the top agent in Mill valley in 2002. Now it has been 15 years and here I am still selling houses. And I enjoy it often (certainly less so in this market). I wonder..... what would it be like if I did something else? And what would it be if I did do something else?

I know what I love is helping people. I know I am passionate about doing the impossible. I know if I could make a living from doing the 3 day, I would do it, because I love it. But unless you have a smart idea on how I can make an adequate income from something else, I do believe I will be a Realtor for the duration. (Hint hint people with great ideas!)

Yesterday was a great day because Patti and I walked together. And that meant I had time to bounce all kinds of thoughts off of her , and her off of me. You could tell it had been awhile that we walked together because we probably talked the entire 11 miles (including but not limited to our lunch at Crissy and our champagne at Cavallo point and our wine and pizza at Poggios!)

Now it is back to work. That had me awake at 1:45am with a ton of worry over the market and listings that haven't sold and bills that have to be paid. Ahhhh... why can't life be simpler.

PS another thing that would help my outlook would be a 2 million dollar sale! Got anyone you want to refer to this sales gal?