What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a question that gets asked through many stages of our lives. When you are very young and are asked this question, you respond with a firefighter, a ballerina, a princess, something that is very creative and imaginative. Then, when you get to about middle school they ask you again, and you respond with something more “grown up,” and no hold backs. I want to be a doctor or a lawyer, my answer at that point was an interior decorator. I had a creative mind and loved decorating spaces in my mind and looking at home decor with my mom.
Then, when you are about to graduate high school and go off to college, you have to start deciding what you are going to major in. Well, I can’t draw worth a sh!t, so I had to think of something else. I went home and asked my dad what he thought I would be good at. He suggested the real estate field, that is what his friend’s wife was getting into and she seemed to love it and become successful quickly. Real Estate, well I do love houses and looking at them…and if I cant decorate them then why not sell them. Real Estate it is. When I went off to college, it was a no brainer for me to chose to major in Business Administration – Real Estate.
By the time I made it though to my 4th year, watching several of my friends jump ship on the major and chose something different, then extending their time as a student…I was proud of myself. I stuck to real estate all 4 years and finished in 2005 on time. However, I realized that the economy was starting to head to the shitter, and who exactly can start out working a commission only job? Also, a two real estate agents were found murdered in a model home. Yeah, being a real estate agent is so not looking good right now I thought. Hmm, I hate appraisal, it is so boring and I don’t want to climb around under houses and up attics, and measuring land and all that mess, that doesn’t sound like fun. Well, now what the hell do I do with this degree?!
Property Management somehow came to mind. I could show apartments, and they have a steady paycheck I said to myself. It is still real estate I said to myself. That is where I landed. For years I worked my ass off in property management. Showing the same apartments every day to hundreds, more like thousands of people. It was alright. I moved up quickly from being a leasing consultant to an assistant manager. I took on more responsibilities, collected money, posted invoices, cut checks, etc. Then you start getting run down from the business. You spend hours walking people around showing apartments, amenities, offering them cookies and coffee, bragging about your wonderful residents and great community functions. Hoping to avoid the horrible fair housing questions about the race that lives at your property, or the crime rate in and around the area, or if cars have been broken in to. Then, you offer them the application and you find out that about 60% of the people you show are not qualified to rent an apartment from you. So glad I wasted hours with you while I could have leased to someone else if you were just upfront about your crappy credit or the fact that you have no job and no money in the beginning. Then, you are sending out late letters and hounding people to pay their rent. They scream and cuss at you, even though they are carrying a $400 purse, have a BMW and brand new outfit…yet they cant pay their rent, and of course that is your fault. Or, time and again I cry with the women who lost her job, has a shitty ex husband that doesn’t pay child support and she doesn’t know when her and her baby will live now that you have to evict them because it is business. Sigh. Done with property management.
Now I am an administrative assistant/GIS research/marketing/personal assistant/travel agent/legal secretary/notary/gopher/a million other tasks to a real estate company that dabbles in a bit of everything. I am almost 30 years old. I went to college for 4 years, got good grades, stayed out of trouble. I am stuck with student loan payments for what seems like the rest of my life. Why then, may I ask, am I just a nobody making less money now than I did several years ago? Why am I just someone’s assistant? I am capable of more, I know that.
So the whole point of the post, after I rambled on and on….and on. What do you want to be? Are you what you wanted to be? Are you happy with your job and what you have become, or have you not even started your “career” yet? Do you even know what you want to do? That is my problem. I have NO CLUE what I want to be when I grow up. Guess what, I am grown up! I am just lost and trapped under the shadows of others doing meaningless bs every day. Don’t get me wrong, I am SO SO SO thankful I have a job. My job isn’t even that bad, I am not exactly complaining about that…it’s just…I don’t want to be an administrative assistant for the rest of my life. There has to be more out there for me. How do you decide what that something is? I would love to design a clothing line, open my own boutique or team up and help someone with theirs. But where do I start? Is that what I truly want?
I am going to be honest with myself. I am afraid of being successful. I don’t even know what that means exactly…but I am afraid of it. I want it…I just don’t know what I want, or where I start. Is there anyone else out there that is struggling with this? Or has struggles with this and has some words of wisdom?
What do you want to be when you grow up?