Learning by Serving
A real estate career begins with a pretty steep learning curve. First you realize that all that information you learned to get your real estate license didn't really teach you the step-by-step, day-to-day skills, practices, and scripts you'll need to find buyers and sellers, write contracts, analyze properties, or close deals.
As a coach of new agents, I work to distill a lot of information into bite-size pieces, bullet points or checklists for my students. When I decided to write a post about life's lessons, I immediately thought about an ActiveRain post I'd written in 2015 with 20 lessons I learned tending bar. As I revisit that list, it still rings true. There are so many things that service jobs like workings retail, waiting tables and tending bar, have taught me about working with people. These lessons have translated to real estate, and also to motherhood.
I figured if I learned such valuable lessons working in the service industry so could my daughters.
Passing it on
When my first daughter was being recruited by college basketball coaches, (Stop and think for a minute what your life would be like if your success at work was measured by your ability to convince teenagers and their parents to select your school over other schools! Brutal, right?) they were often surprised that with her busy training, practice and game schedule, she was able to find time to work a part-time job. When they heard that she was waiting tables, they were even more surprised. They said most recruits were bragging about their career-oriented internships or cushy office jobs their parents had arranged for them.
Some coaches asked to speak to me and were pleasantly surprised by how much more I thought my daughter would learn in a service job. "There'll be plenty of time for office jobs later." I told them. "These lessons are important now."
My younger daughter is an artist who spends a great deal of time to herself. She entered the work force in the service industry waiting tables and then serving ice cream. As she prepared her portfolio for college, she started out pretty secretive, not really showing anyone her works of art. Serving customers helped her build confidence interacting with people and develop a slightly thicker skin. Attending Art School requires a lot of self exploration, self expression and the ability to receive critiques and address the concerns without getting defensive.
She has also posted about her pet and house sitting services and scheduled all kinds of jobs on her own. I know that her jobs serving the public have helped her prepare for a life promoting herself and her art.
Time Will Tell
In time we'll know if serving others provides my daughters with the same 20 things I learned tending bar, or if they have an entirely different list of benefits. That is the thing about parenting, it's a long game. You hope you've imparted the most important things you can to your children and they turn out okay. In my mind, serving others never really hurt anyone. Fingers crossed.
Parker is entering her junior year at Princeton where she is studying Anthropology and playing basketball. Miranda has just started her freshman year the School at the Art Institute of Chicago. I'm now an empty nester.
This is part of the 2023 August Challenge Embracing Life's Lessons