With the spring market past, my days have been long … working from sunup to past sundown, each morning passing a quickly accumulating pile of laundry as I walk out the door, and coming home at the end of long days with my personal to-do’s left undone.
I’ve not been out with friends or gone to a show in quite a long time. There’s an ebb and flow to working in real estate … this is a “flow” time of year. So for now, at least, it seems that “work” is all I do.
And yet, I’m happy. I won’t go as far as to say, as the expression goes, “Find a job you love and you won’t work a day in your life.” It’s work, but I do love my job.
Most people have long days, and work really, really hard, and yet not everyone has a job they love — not everyone is lucky enough to be happy in their careers. I was just thinking about this the other day, when lo and behold, Forbes published an article that said real estate agents are among the happiest in their careers. Who would have guessed?
The article cites a study that “scored” a variety of factors that affect workplace happiness: relationship with boss and co-workers; work environment; compensation; growth opportunities; control over the work one does on a daily basis; and others.
There’s truth in the “happiness” factors, though they aren’t things I’ve “scored” or even consciously thought about. But because of the article, I have thought about it. Forbes and its study had their happiness factors, and I have mine. With maybe some overlap …
Here are the top 10 reasons why I love my job:
1. People and their stories
Everyone has a story, and each one fascinates me. It’s the people I meet, that I would otherwise not have known, and the life stories they share with me that I love, love, love the most about my job.
2. Each day it’s something new
Sure, there are regular tasks, but every day brings a different combination of things. New people, new properties, new obstacles to get past … no two days are ever the same.
3. You never stop learning
While it can be intimidating to not have an answer for everything, as someone that loves learning, my job provides a smorgasbord of things to learn. Market trends, new technologies, social media and the things that just pop up in every deal means there’s always something to learn.
4. Real estate agents are a hoot … and I get to hang out with them every day
I think real estate agents get a bad rap. We’re mostly genuinely good people. While we may be in competition with one another, we generally try pretty hard to be helpful to one another bunch, we’re fun and funny … a real estate office is a great place to work. At least, mine is.
5. A chance to do good
Moving is high on the list of stressful things to do, so when I’m able to ease stress and burden for my clients and to help them get where they want to go, it feels good.
6. You can let your freedom flag fly
There are laws to obey and rules to follow as a real estate agent, but there’s also plenty or room to run your business as you like. I’m my own brand, so I’m free to be me.
7. You get to solve mysteries
He likes newer construction, she’s drawn to vintage homes … What house will we find that they will agree on? It starts as a mystery, but you get to help solve it … and always do! Solving mysteries is one of the more fun things I do.
8. Outlet for creativity
I’m not artistic, but I like that my job provides an outlet for creativity … brochures, choosing the right photos, listing verbiage, writing a blog … They all sort of scratch the creative itch.
9. You won’t get fired or laid off
Starting up, building business, surviving downturns … None of that comes easy … On the contrary, it’s really, really hard (at least it was/is for me). But if you can do it, you can make a decent living, and no one can take your job away. I like that.
10. I do love houses
Any agent will admit that liking people and houses is not reason enough to do this job. Liking people and houses is only the tip of the iceberg!
But with that said, I do love houses. Old houses and new houses, dated houses and rehabbed houses, big houses and small houses. I do love houses.
So those are the top 10 reasons this “happiest in her career” agent loves her job. Would welcome hearing why you love yours.
Amy Curtis is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Orland Park, Illinois (a southwest suburb of Chicago). Follow her on Twitter.
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