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It's Not A Job - It's Your Career !

Updated on February 13, 2014

The Thinking Man

Make Yourself That Go To Person !

So you’re starting that new career. That’s right, it's your new career ! Don't ever think of it as just a job, always as your career. In this day and age we must work, and unless you’re incredibly wealthy, you’ll need to make a good living. If you’re already wealthy, well then you somehow did something smart to get there. As the saying goes; we all have to "put bread on the table."

It’s interesting how successful people get their start in their new career. By calling it a career, rather than a mere job, you'll build up volumes of self-esteem and confidence.

Here is a quick tip, one you can get good at right away: when speaking in business dealings, be confident; end your sentences with periods, not question marks. Don’t speak in a halting manner, just be yourself and show confidence. It doesn’t matter if you’re new or uncertain of yourself, project confidence. A potential customer or client doesn’t need to know that you’ve just started working at this new career of yours.

My first career was working as an inside salesperson for over 25 years in the steel industry. At the point in my life when I got that job I really wasn’t career minded.

It was back in 1979 and I was in my junior year of high school. I was in a business math class for high school students involved in the after school work education program. The teacher asked the class "Would anyone want a job at a steel company?"

For whatever reason I put up my hand, I was the only one who did so. Why did I want to work at this steel company? What did I, a 16-year-old know about metal?

In 9th grade I did okay in wood shop and had gotten a passing grade. However, that same year I also had failed metal shop. I failed it with a big fat F grade.

You have to understand that I come from a highly non-mechanical family. It was a big deal that I could change a tire on a car. Heck it was a big deal that I could wash a car. That aside, why was I going to work at a steel company?

In 10th grade I had taken welding class. My high school had wonderful welding facilities and that, coupled with some outstanding teachers, helped to ensure my success in that class. I took it for both semesters that year and enjoyed it.

For whatever reason at that young age it struck me as totally interesting to learn about the periodic table of elements. In general the carbon content of steel determines the weldability of metal, so when I was 15 I set out to learn anything and everything about the carbon content of steel.

So here I am in March 1979, walking into the steel company for my very first interview. It was a standing interview, and it lasted a solid two minutes - I got the job! This started on April 1st; yes, April fool’s Day 1979.

It was an easy job, and the steel orders came either by phone or U.S Mail. The orders that came in the mail were these incredibly long tedious orders for 40 or 50 or 80 items. I was given one of these orders per day. This is another thing I quickly got good at.

As my business day was only from 2 to 5 p.m., I developed the habit of working at a very high rate of speed. The senior salespeople I worked with wanted nothing to do with these time consuming orders. So I got very good at doing them.

Also, the steel company gave me small amounts of scrap steel to take home to weld. I had bought an arc welder with my spare money and had set up a small welding shop at my home. The hours I spent on this hobby enabled me to relate first hand with customers about the weld ability of certain alloy steels. With the exception of my folks praying that I didn’t burn the house down with all the welding sparks, it was a win-win situation.

Okay, so that was a good story about how I got started. You’d imagine after doing that line of work for a number of years, I knew it quite well. So it was time for a change. I asked myself can I do it in two different careers?

I had the bright idea in 2005 to quit my job in the steel industry and move to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Now let me tell you, North Myrtle Beach is a wonderful place. The weather is great and the beach is wide and long and the folks there are genuinely nice, I can't wait to see all of you there again, "y'all".

After sitting around for a few weeks and getting bored I went to a local real estate seminar and was impressed. So I jumped right into real estate school and by April 2006 had become a Realtor.

So, after this, I’m in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and I know two people. How the heck am I going to sell a home?

I know, I’ve got to get good at something.

To meet people I did open houses; on every Saturday and Sunday, and some weekdays as well. I think I did 178 open houses in two years, and the people I met at those open houses in May 2006 resulted in four closings; this is pretty good for a new agent in the marketplace.

What happened to me the first time I had floor time - the first call I got - is that I sold those folks a home. It was a Friday afternoon, and I got one call about 2PM; it was from a prospect looking to view a home. I got to the house about 45 minutes after their phone call, and opened the front door for the couple to go in.

As I was opening the door, the wife yelled “I want it!” It was a cash sale, and 12 days after I showed them the home I had my commission check. Sweet!

All you have to do it get good at something. It’s that easy. Be that go to person that your office needs. Many times when your talent comes out, you’re recognized and doors open up for you; the possibilities are there.

When I was a young child, I’d play with my toy trucks out in the yard or in the sandbox. Once my mom asked me what I wanted to be. I told her a garbage man on a garbage truck. That might be my next career.


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    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      You certainly have a way with words. This is a very smooth read with an important message. I, too have changed careers several times in my life. It makes for a well rounded person with many available doors through which one can walk.

      Excellent article!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know how many times I have changed careers...many for sure. One thing I always remember is my dad telling me to "fake it until I make it." We have infinite talents if we are only willing to swallow our fear and go for it.

      Loved your message!


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