Remember growing up and going from junior high to high school? Do you remember the line “These are the years when you will decide what you want to do with the rest of your life.”? Wow, those words still send shivers down my spine and I graduated 15 years ago.
When I entered high school, I was not thinking: “Ok, what career do I need to choose so that I can be somebody after I finish high school in 4 years?”. What an eye opener it was when I walked across the stage and received my diploma at the end of high school; it hit me like Mike Tyson, WHAAAAM! And from that moment, I was in a bit of a panic searching for my “career” choice.
I feel like we were lead to believe that it was supposed to be systematic: pick a trade that you feel will be secure for your lifetime, make sure it will pay a good wage, put in your 50 years and make sure to put away for retirement along the way. Well, that was never me! I was always the one who had to take the path that created character and tested you in ways that most people would probably feel would create regrets. I only had a couple jobs after high school, but the one that had the biggest influence on me: working at The Keg Steakhouse & Bar (here in Fort McMurray).
It’s a far stretch from your typical career with high wages. I worked at The Keg for 12 years. There I learned more about the expectations of life than I ever would have sitting in a cubicle or behind some desk…not saying that is a bad way to live, but that’s not me! Sure, it didn’t fall into the category of a “stereotypical” field with high wages, but it made up for that in an area that most people don’t even consider when choosing a career: the impact you will have on people.
I would consider the hospitality industry as being one of the most stressful environments to learn in. Imagine, hundreds of people every single evening demanding perfection for 90 minutes at a time, that’s 90 minutes per person, per dinner and doing this within a matter of just a few hours. I quickly found that this type of people-focused environment was for me! I moved from the “bottom of the totem pole” up to being a bar & kitchen manager for several years where the stress only got more intense and I found my job way more fun!
Let’s skip ahead a few years. I met my amazing & beautiful wife-to-be and started to settle down. We knew we wanted to have a family, buy a larger home and be able to have more time for our families. This is what triggered my desire to pursue the true career choice I had been pondering for a few years already: Real Estate.
I have had several friends and family members choose this path and I could tell that I was meant to do this. It’s everything all packed into a bundle of fun that drives me. I get to help people, it’s high intensity at times, not only meeting the demands of people, but doing so with honesty and integrity…and the cherry that tops this cake: I get to be with my family every day.
I may be newer to the industry, but I am not new to wanting to do what’s best for people. The hospitality industry prepared me for learning how to meet (and more importantly, exceed) client expectations, how to help many clients at a time and how to give amazing customer service. The hospitality industry also taught me how to be the calm hand that guides my clients through an entire transaction…from signing the listing contract to their possession day…no matter what comes our way.
I am loving the fact that I have found my career…that one career that will forever let me do what is best for people! Oh, yeah and that systematic part that says work for 50 years and save up for your retirement during that time? How about I just throw that part out because I don’t see myself retiring from doing what I love! You wouldn’t retire from your family, would you?