Many years ago... in what seems like a previous life, I was teaching school in the Catholic Schools in NorthEastern Ohio. I had been teaching for nine years, and really enjoyed it. I was dedicated, industrious, caring, and the type of teacher who was always there early, and always stayed late. One of my joys was always being the one many of my students sought out to talk to about their problems. Problems at home, problems about friends, and just stuff in general.
It was early June. School was just out for summer vacation. For the summer, I had accepted a position at a local public high school teaching Psychology in summer school to incoming seniors as an elective course. So, Monday thru Friday I was in the classroom from 8:00am until 9:30am.
Then, I had to jump into my VW Beetle and drive to my "summer job"... working in and managing a music/record store on Shaker Square so the owners could go on vacation. I had worked my way thru college at the store, and had worked there every summer since graduation... while school was out. I would open the store at 10:00am, work thru the lunch hour, and then drive about fifteen miles to my first real estate job... and put in two hours of "floor time." After that, I raced back to Shaker Square, and worked thru the after-school rush, and then either closed the store at 6:00pm, or on Tuesdays and Fridays, worked until 9:00pm and then closed the store. I also worked the store from 10:00am until 6:00pm on Saturday.
In my "spare" time, I also gave guitar lessons to 18 students a week... doing that on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings for some, and on Sunday afternoons for the rest of my students.
For some strange reason, I started to feel more than a little "burned out." It was at that time, sensing that I was close to a melt-down, my Real Estate Broker, who had taken me on during the summer so I could "try out" real estate... suggested that she thought I seemed to have a talent for it, and was doing so well at it, that she asked me if I would consider working Real Estate full time.
I was floored. I never, ever thought I could only work one job, and support my family. Well, I met with my principal, had a heart to heart talk with her, and when she told me that she had a "sister" nun who had moved to the church convent, and she needed a classroom for her to teach in, she suggested I take a year's "leave of absence" just to get my bearings, and to decide in which direction my next career step would be.
As they say... the rest is history. I have been in real estate both as a Realtor and a Broker, since then. I took a fifteen year break right in the middle of those "Realtor" years when a national new home builder "made me an offer I couldn't refuse." Then, early in 2000, I felt life as a Realtor was calling me home again, so back I came. I had really missed the "closeness" of working with Home Sellers and Home Buyers as they tried to juggle their family's future when either moving locally, or pulling up stakes and making a National Relocation.
My first year back as a Realtor was spent in a small "mother-daughter" firm. As I grew more and more comfortable with being back in the swim of things as a Realtor, I felt I needed to change firms. I had thought about it at length, and then... in early September, 2001... I decided I needed to make a move.
Then came the horrible tragedy of September 11, 2001. Our country was thrown into turmoil, loved ones were lost, and families were shattered.
At the time, I was working with several buyers who were with American Airlines at their headquarters in Fort Worth. Fearing for their jobs, and actually afraid for their lives, all three of them needed to simply "stay put" until their lives returned to some semblance of normalcy, which many of them thought would never, ever happen.
I was scared, too. What do I do with my career? I knew I did not have room for the future growth I needed at the small firm where I had been working, but was close to being petrified about changing firms. It was then I met with the Broker/Owner of a local RE/MAX office. Her kindness, her professionalism, and the confidence she appeared to have in me and my ability, along with everything RE/MAX had to offer... was all I needed to see for me to know what the right choice was. Sooo... there I was... three weeks after 9/11... I moved to RE/MAX. I started on October 2, 2001, and I haven't looked back since. Thanks so much for allowing me to share this with you. Karen Anne Stone