I’ll never forget sitting down with my parents to let them know I was quitting. Here I was, this young, married, mom-to-be telling my parents that I was quitting my teaching profession. A profession that cost my parents thousands of dollars in college tuition; a career that included a nice salary, benefits, and a retirement plan. And I was choosing to leave all that behind.
And for what? Because I wasn’t happy?
Yep. Pretty much. I quit a good job because I hated it.
And then, fourteen years later, I was pondering the same thing. This time, it wasn’t because I hated my job. It was just that I was Completely. Burned. Out. I was tired of the stress, being accessible 24/7, the government overreach, the fact that other people with poor work ethics could affect my paycheck, strangers who think my job is easy, and the people who think I should drop everything and then never call me again after I do just that. It felt like every transaction had the same problems but with different faces and new names.
Maybe it was a mid-life crisis? I mean, it happened at the same time I was turning 40. And although I wasn’t upset about getting older, it did make me think about my real estate career up to that point. I felt like I had reached the summit. I was able to look back to see what I learned, overcome, and built along my journey, while also being far enough along to see the mountain top through realistic eyes; this journey was probably going to get tougher. The government was not going to loosen up. Technology wasn’t going to slow down. And the job as we know it is poised for a major change. (Did you hear that Zillow bought an MLS back-office software company?)
Did I want to be in the fray of all this, or be a witness on the sidelines? Did I want to commit 100% to a journey that would be bumpy and uphill, or did I want to jump off now in search for new adventures? Obviously, I chose to stay. But not without a long heart to heart with myself. The fact of the matter is, I’m too tired to go back to school, too green to get hired into a high paying job, and too old (and stubborn) to take an entry level job.
But that doesn’t mean I chose to stay because I can’t do anything else. I chose to stay because despite all the crap this job puts me through, it’s what I love to do. For every one bad client out there, there are five awesome ones. For every problem I fight through, there is a grateful family at the finish line.
I choose to focus on them. I force myself to dwell on the positive, not the negative. I think about all the lives I’ve made better by simply being there to navigate them through their biggest financial decision. At times I’m their shoulder to cry on, their best friend, and their confidante. I’m deliberately choosing to focus on the relationships I’ve built and the friends I’ve made through this career in real estate.
So, if you are thinking about quitting because you hate the job, are miserable, and have no joy left when your feet hit the office doorway, then it’s probably time to move on. There is no shame in quitting. There is no shame in choosing happiness over a paycheck. This job is damn hard.
But if you are simply burned out and needing a break, take one. Take a little time away to reflect and regroup. Focus on the positives, sweep away the negatives.
If it hasn’t happened already, at some point in this career you will consider quitting. And when that happens, you need to decide if you will be All In or All Out. You cannot be in between. Take a little time, think about it, and then decide: Which path will you take?
Amy Gilpin, Realtor, Associate Broker, Manager, ABR.
Fourteen years of helping clients. Six years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com