One summer during college, I took a job at a camshaft factory. It was second shift and my job title was “Miscellaneous.” This meant I basically filled in where needed. Some days were spent in packaging, others in quality control, and others were making parts. It was fine. Every day was different, and I made a few friends.
But towards the end of my time there, the conveyor belt to the oven broke. So for a couple weeks I spent my eight hour shift loading each part manually into the oven. Besides getting carpal tunnel, I also came to an important realization: This job sucked.
It sucked because suddenly I was doing the same thing every single day. Sure, the money was great, but it was boring and I was alone at the oven with no one to talk to. During the prior months, I ignored the fact that I smelled like oil, that all my clothes were ruined, I had no life outside of work, and I grocery shopped at 1 am. But now, all those annoying things were magnified. I hated this job.
Sometimes in real estate, I feel like this. There are so many days where I am completely overwhelmed with paperwork and doing all the “tasks” of my job that I get stuck in the mindset of “Everything is terrible”.
Between writing addendums, scheduling showings, making phone calls, attending inspections, dropping off fliers, picking up signs, answering the same questions over and over, it feels like I’m 19 years old again standing by that broken conveyor waiting anxiously for my shift to end.
Except it doesn’t end. It just keeps going and going and going, and the next thing you know, you’ve got 15 years in the business. How do you stop feeling like a mud trudger? How do you get out of the rut? How do you remember that you actually like this job?
The easy answer is to change your mindset. You have to train your brain to be happy and optimistic. Instead of looking at the paperwork as annoying, look at it as being productive and proactive. Instead of complaining about trying to fit in one more thing, be excited that you have people who need you and want to work with you. Smile more. Laugh more. Make eye contact. Stand up tall! Small changes like this will reset your mind in no time.
But what if that only works for the short term, but not the long haul? How do you feel… fulfilled?
My only response is we need to find something to “hang our hat” on. We need to find something in our job that we are awesome at. Maybe you are great at listing appointments, marketing properties, or negotiating deals. What skill do you have that gives you such confidence that you know when you encounter that situation you will knock it out of the park?
Whatever that skill is, you need to share it. There are agents in your office who are dying to know how you do something. I’m highly competitive so I never showed anyone anything I was doing. I was afraid they’d steal my ideas and beat me at my own game. But once I became a manager and was forced to collaborate, I was amazed. Not only did the agents learn from me, but I learned from them as well. The more we shared, the better we all got, and as a result, the stronger our company became.
Yes, there are many days where I feel like I’m trudging through the mud. There are days where I wonder why I ever chose this job. Trying to change your mindset is a good solution for getting through rough days, but finding that skill that gives you purpose has the potential to change your mind set for your entire career.
What do you do really well? Do you have the opportunity in your office to take someone under your wing and teach them? When we have something that we feel confident about and share, we are actually enjoying our “shift” instead of feeling like we are trying to survive each day.
Instead of feeling stuck in the corner taking the heat for a stupid job that just brings us down, let’s look at our gift- our one thing that we are most proud of- and bring it out onto the main floor. Sharing will bring you a sense of fulfillment, and this will help you get past the need to keep an eye on the clock ready to call it a night.
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