I listed and sold real estate actively for about 30 years. I still do stand up training and make referrals all over the world. But before I was involved in real estate, I did a number of other things.
Out of college, with a degree in education freshly minted, I got a job in Newark New Jersey as a pool substitute. In those years it was not uncommon in big cities to not hire a full staff when schools opened. In my case I was visiting in NJ with college friends from Wisconsin when someone rooming with one of these friends suggested I go to Newark, because they "hire off the streets." I did and I was hired at about half of what a first year teacher would earn. I was assigned to a high school where I was but one of six Caucasians in a totally Black place. It was tough and I was soon stolen from and verbally abused. After a couple of months there I was able to find a job teaching English in another district for full first year salary. I stayed there for nine years and acquired a Masters Degree at that systems expense.
I went onto to accept a counseling position (my Masters was in that area) at a middle school because someone I hardly knew who coached speech and debate in that districts high school knew me from that arena and referred me to the middle school principal. This came from out of nowhere and even though the school was far from home, I went because someone went out of their way. I really hit it off with that principal and wound up taking the job, and the guy I hardly knew had himself a feeder program for his high school team.
I spent several years at that school and only left to take a job in government as a training professional for the biggest county in New Jersey. I came in as a trainer and left as the director of training. It was a political place and I lost that job. I moved onto a position with another county where I worked in a rehab facility that was also a hospital for those in the last stages of life. It was a tough place and I did contract negotiations with the nurses.
I bought a new car and was laid off. Life is funny. I started working for a guy who did big time functions mostly with the elderly. I had waitressed early in life, but at 38 it was tougher. Eventually I was offered more there but couldn't see myself there long term, so I went to real estate school.
I had been an investor for awhile. My accountant told me to buy something as I was getting killed by taxes. I knew an investors mentality and once I was licensed my first transaction was the sale of a multi-family. I had both sides and the property closed in six days for cash.
I have always believed that anything I have ever done has prepared me for anything I will ever do. Being open to opportunities is something I learned early on. Listening and speaking thoughtfully matters in anything and everything. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.