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What is/was your occupation? I'm thinking of leaving the desk....
Old 10-21-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
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What is/was your occupation? I'm thinking of leaving the desk....

Are any of you willing to share your primary job duties/occupations during your careers (whether you're still working or not)? I am realizing that the majority of my discontent for my job comes from the lack of people interaction. I have worked in analytical accounting/finance type "back office" roles at larger companies. Over 95% of my job does not require any people skills nor much human interaction, and I think this bothers me. Moreover, I feel as if I "go the extra mile" it has zero impact to our business/profitability. So I am wondering if that majority of posters here have held "corporate" type roles (i.e., corporate IT, finance, risk, strategy, communications, etc) whereby you are/were part of an overall process and your value-add to the firm might not be as visible as other employees who work in sales, client servicing, etc.

I've always been interested in real estate, and genuinely like earning money and feeling rewarded, but I always feel dissatisfied coming home from work. I am contemplating pursuing a career has a real estate agent in the city.

It would be hard to give up my comfortable salary and benefits, but I have the net worth to cover me quite some time should I not earn a pay check right away. Moreover, I could always revert back to an accounting or finance type role (worst case scenario) - even though it may be harder to get my foot in the door somewhere. I have an acquaintance that owns a real estate brokerage in the city that I am grabbing dinner with this week, so I plan to ask him some questions!
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by younginvestor2013 View Post
Are any of you willing to share your primary job duties/occupations during your careers (whether you're still working or not)? I am realizing that the majority of my discontent for my job comes from the lack of people interaction. I have worked in analytical accounting/finance type "back office" roles at larger companies. Over 95% of my job does not require any people skills nor much human interaction, and I think this bothers me. Moreover, I feel as if I "go the extra mile" it has zero impact to our business/profitability. So I am wondering if that majority of posters here have held "corporate" type roles (i.e., corporate IT, finance, risk, strategy, communications, etc) whereby you are/were part of an overall process and your value-add to the firm might not be as visible as other employees who work in sales, client servicing, etc.

I've always been interested in real estate, and genuinely like earning money and feeling rewarded, but I always feel dissatisfied coming home from work. I am contemplating pursuing a career has a real estate agent in the city.

It would be hard to give up my comfortable salary and benefits, but I have the net worth to cover me quite some time should I not earn a pay check right away. Moreover, I could always revert back to an accounting or finance type role (worst case scenario) - even though it may be harder to get my foot in the door somewhere. I have an acquaintance that owns a real estate brokerage in the city that I am grabbing dinner with this week, so I plan to ask him some questions!
You must have skills and knowledge in your field. Being a SFH and small multi residential RE salesman is a pretty big comedown from almost any job. The hours are long, the competition is intense, and conflicts of interest abound. Get some training and learn to do commercial and industrial leasing. See where that takes you. Guys who succeed in this area can make some heavy dough. Although as in all RE areas, activity is cyclical. Also you will get market knowledge, and may gradually be able to do some syndications.

This is also a very competitive business, but everyone and his sister-in-law doesn't attempt it because it has some complexities that the average Joe or more likely Jane who may have bought a home or two doesn't often feel ready to deal with. Watch a little HGTV, in home sales it is almost always the woman who needs to be closed. I think other women tend to be better at this than men.

Ha
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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Ha makes some very important points.

I have a relative who lived and breathed real estate. He lost everything, job, properties and marriage, in 2008.

If you go into this, plan to make no income for 5 years. If you do not have lots of savings right now, I would advise not to jump.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies...

.....but you didn't answer my main question So what do you do/what did you do?

I think one aspect that would differentiate real estate where I live (Chicago) vs other areas is that apartment leasing is a huge market here. Many units get listed on the MLS, and the owner usually pays 1 month's rent for the broker who can fill the lease.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:31 PM   #5
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Are any of you willing to share your primary job duties/occupations during your careers (whether you're still working or not)? I am realizing that the majority of my discontent for my job comes from the lack of people interaction. I have worked in analytical accounting/finance type "back office" roles at larger companies. Over 95% of my job does not require any people skills nor much human interaction, and I think this bothers me. Moreover, I feel as if I "go the extra mile" it has zero impact to our business/profitability. So I am wondering if that majority of posters here have held "corporate" type roles (i.e., corporate IT, finance, risk, strategy, communications, etc) whereby you are/were part of an overall process and your value-add to the firm might not be as visible as other employees who work in sales, client servicing, etc.
I don't see how an informal survey of other members' present or past career choices can help you. From what you wrote above, you are an extrovert trapped in an introvert's job. However, people of all personality types can adapt and learn to make their situations more satisfying without necessarily throwing in the towel and launching into a career in real estate. I think it might be quite helpful for you to take a Myers Briggs test. It was very helpful for my personal development (I was an introvert trapped in an extrovert's job). FWIW I was a physician and did hold management roles.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:42 PM   #6
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I second Meadbh's suggestion. I could tell you what I have done over my career(s), but it would be of no assistance to you. All of my work has required substantial, highly specialized training. Find what you are suited for and then devote yourself to that. It may or may not be real estate.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by younginvestor2013 View Post
Are any of you willing to share your primary job duties/occupations during your careers (whether you're still working or not)? I am realizing that the majority of my discontent for my job comes from the lack of people interaction. I have worked in analytical accounting/finance type "back office" roles at larger companies. Over 95% of my job does not require any people skills nor much human interaction, and I think this bothers me. Moreover, I feel as if I "go the extra mile" it has zero impact to our business/profitability. So I am wondering if that majority of posters here have held "corporate" type roles (i.e., corporate IT, finance, risk, strategy, communications, etc) whereby you are/were part of an overall process and your value-add to the firm might not be as visible as other employees who work in sales, client servicing, etc. .....
While I agree with others that what other posters did isn't likely to help you much, FWIW my entire career was in accounting/finance (public accounting, internal audit, financial management/controllership and ultimately big four consulting) and I found it very satisfying. When I was in industry I thought of our mission as providing management with information and analyses that help them understand the business and make better business decisions and one of the more interesting part of my jobs was taking technical, complex issues and boiling them down to something so simple a CEO or board member could understand it. Also, my jobs were very people oriented - the vast majority of my time was spent talking with colleagues and clients.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:10 PM   #8
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Teacher....working for the Govt on military bases overseas....still having nightmares about working with very young children.....beer helps. Early retirement and living cheaply has made it worthwhile. Now....if they will just leave SS alone....
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:13 PM   #9
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My finance and accounting background included:

- Big 8 CPA firm - audit
- CFO of a large real estate development company; multiple property types
- CFO / COO of a couple of small to middle market businesses - one real estate development; one manufacturing and distribution

I would not characterize my roles as "corporate," since most of my experiences were with small business where one has to wear many hats. In my real estate development roles, I worked with attorneys so much that I became pretty adept at transaction documentation - purchase and sale agreements, loan documents, etc. I'm still working now, but plan to slow it down and retire or semi-retire in early 2014.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:30 PM   #10
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Are any of you willing to share your primary job duties/occupations during your careers (whether you're still working or not)? I am realizing that the majority of my discontent for my job comes from the lack of people interaction. I have worked in analytical accounting/finance type "back office" roles at larger companies. Over 95% of my job does not require any people skills nor much human interaction, and I think this bothers me. Moreover, I feel as if I "go the extra mile" it has zero impact to our business/profitability. So I am wondering if that majority of posters here have held "corporate" type roles (i.e., corporate IT, finance, risk, strategy, communications, etc) whereby you are/were part of an overall process and your value-add to the firm might not be as visible as other employees who work in sales, client servicing, etc.

I've always been interested in real estate, and genuinely like earning money and feeling rewarded, but I always feel dissatisfied coming home from work. I am contemplating pursuing a career has a real estate agent in the city.

It would be hard to give up my comfortable salary and benefits, but I have the net worth to cover me quite some time should I not earn a pay check right away. Moreover, I could always revert back to an accounting or finance type role (worst case scenario) - even though it may be harder to get my foot in the door somewhere. I have an acquaintance that owns a real estate brokerage in the city that I am grabbing dinner with this week, so I plan to ask him some questions!
Computer Programmer 7-1981 till 2-28-2012 (Retired)

I liked it a lot when I started and the final yrs were the best but was ready to go. I basically reported to a computer wiz (vs a manager) so I had some job
satisfaction but over all if given the choice I would prefer not to ever work.
I too looked at career changes many time during those 30+ yrs. and also
loved Real Estate. I decided to go the investment route so I kept my day job and bought single family rentals. It worked out great for us, but everyone is
different. I def. felt a lot more rewarded with the RE than the Corp. job.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:38 PM   #11
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I was a mid-level marketing executive with large companies in the pharmaceutical and food/beverage industries.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:52 PM   #12
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:06 AM   #13
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Here's some more data for you:

What was/is your occupation?
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:19 AM   #14
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I worked in the actuarial profession for 23 years (1985-2008), specializing in personal auto insurance while doing a lot of related computer programming and systems testing in that time.

I liked my job most of the time, being the "big fish in the small pond" with regard to my computer skills in a division with people who had some but not nearly as many computer skills as I did. My unique combination of computer skills and actuarial skills made me indispensible in the 1990s and 2000s as we sought to automate many processes not previously linked as well as preparing for Y2K with our outdated report systems and end-user systems which were being redesigned and tested by me.

The people in my division loved me because I was a data miner with actuarial knowledge, able to understand what they wanted to create a program or series of programs to get them their data and produce their end-user reports. The programmer analysts who created the larger report systems loved me because, as a one-time computer science major, I knew how to speak their language when it came to testing their programs.

But despite being in this much coveted position, I had no problem giving it all up in 2008 and have been very happy as I near the 5th anniversary of my retirement.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:39 AM   #15
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Just an old engineer. I looked at several alternatives over the years so I could stay home with the family, but nothing ever paid nearly as well. And much riskier. I did learn that you have to be ready to move to survive.
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:13 PM   #16
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:51 PM   #17
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Police officer for a bit over 29 years, then worked in armed security for a few years after that at one of those high-security government installations with barbed wire fences around it. FIL's elder law attorney said I was a "financial dinosaur" with a DB pension (I'm grandfathered in, it has long since been changed) significant savings, and no debt.

For an introvert it actually turned out to be a good choice. Although I did have to learn to "come out of my shell" when the occasion called for it for the most part I worked alone with very little supervision.

A good book is "What Color is Your Parachute?" Perhaps the latest version isn't at your local library (it's updated every year) but it's aimed at people facing your situation. I first read it about 1982.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:44 PM   #18
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I started my career in accounting. After a few years I switched to IT sales. Instead of being chained to a desk I was able to get out, meet people, see different businesses. Best thing I ever did. IT was an enjoyable, rewarding, and highly lucrative field for me. No one day was the same.

After that is was IT sales management (large systems), Services Management, Regional Management, then General Manger.

One thing to keep in mind if you are considering real estate. You need a very thick skin, lots of sharks out there. Dog eat dog...so be prepared for that and for the pressure to 'produce'.

And remember the 80/20 rule. Twenty percent of the people make 80 percent of the money. It was true in IT sales, it is true in real estate.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:26 AM   #19
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Former inhouse counsel in IT industry - ER in September 13 at 55.

DH: former high school teacher - ER in September 13 at 61.
We did not suffer in our jobs and are loving ER.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:07 AM   #20
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Sort of bipolar with the introvert/extrovert thing. After being laid off from my dream job very early, I have done grunt work at an excellent firm for 26 years. Between the two jobs I sold real estate full time. That is very difficult without an alternate source of income. I received a small paycheck as assistant then acting office manager. I also bought two investment properties.

In the last 26 years I bought a property on the side every few years. Now I have 12. I just finished paying them off so I am debt free. I also have maxed out the 401K and Roth for many but not all years. My properties are worth twice those.

In ER I want to try my hand at selling Real Estate again.
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