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Work: How to Start Over Again and Switch Careers

“Something happened while I was doing that three month gig. I fell in love with my new job, my new company, and the weekly paycheck that came with it. Gone were the days of the real estate roller coaster. I could eat!”

Today’s guest post comes to us from Lisa Affi, who is so capable and beautiful and talented she could probably start over 15 more times and do just fine, thank you.

By the time you’re 40, you think you’re career life is settled and you are geared to stay on your path until retirement. For more than 15 years, I worked in the real estate profession. For many of those years, I worked as both a real estate agent and as an office manager/trainer/property manager. At age 37, I finally decided to take the proverbial dive into the shark-infested waters of full-time real estate sales.

The real estate market was going at a fast clip with property values rising almost on a daily basis. I had been in the business long enough to know the warning signs that it was all going to come crumbling down. Just like that. It did. Escrows were falling out. Buyers were panicking. Real estate as we knew it was coming to an end. My life was about to change in ways I had no idea.

I had made quite a bit of money in my own real estate investments. I had taken my equity and purchased a beautiful home in a lovely hillside community in San Bernardino County.

Still in denial about the long term effects of the real estate crash, I found myself taking the odd part-time job to get by; a hotel concierge (two weeks), a chip runner at an Indian casino (one month). The latest was a three month gig at a Fortune 500 company in the communications department. “No problem,” I thought. “In three months, I’ll get back on my feet and back into the game.”

I never went back to real estate.

Something happened while I was doing that three month gig. I fell in love with my new job, my new company, and the weekly paycheck that came with it. Gone were the days of the real estate roller coaster. I could eat! At the end of my three months, they hired me full time.

They say that for every humbling life experience, you gain a life lesson that will take you to a new understanding. That’s IF you learn the lesson. 2007 was the year, I learned that nothing is forever and hard decisions make you stronger. I lost everything. But I didn’t lose my spirit.

I am on a whole new path. A path I never even noticed was there. I have never felt more at home than I do in my new career. I discovered more things about myself that year and since than I ever imagined. I found out that I am stronger than I ever thought possible.

I never shared my story with anyone. I never felt the need to complain about where my life took me. But as you go through these experiences, at some point you want to share that new found knowledge in the hopes that someone else could benefit from what you went through. But if you could take just one something from it, remember that old saying is true: When one door closes, a window really does open. Be open to it. Let yourself learn from the experiences that life gives you. Take the gift. Open it.

Vanessa McGradyWork: How to Start Over Again and Switch Careers

Comments 2

  1. Tracy H.

    Love this article! I can relate. My husband got cut back at work so as a sideline I’ve taken to babysitting and romping other people’s dogs. I often stop and think, “This makes me so much happier than copywriting!”

  2. Denese C

    What an inspiration. Thank you for your honesty. Many women need to hear it’s okay to do what’s best even if they think it’s “giving up”..Giving up means not starting again..You are absolutely beautiful and I’m sure will change many lives with your honesty..

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