What kind of work did you do while in college? Me, I delivered pizza for Domino’s Pizza for 6 years (yes I said 6 years. Don’t judge…). When I began this blog, I mentioned that one of my main reasons for writing my thoughts down is so that my kids would have something to look back on to remember advice that I’ve given over the years. This post is really just advice that I hope my kids heed in their adult life. Maybe it’s relevant to you too.
I am currently studying to get an MBA with a focus in real estate finance and development. While completing my undergraduate degree in business finance, I never thought I would return to school to get a graduate degree. I was the first in my family to obtain a Bachelor’s degree and really just found my way into real estate through books and my own interest. I didn’t have any guidance to help me figure out how to be successful. Now, I’m not saying anything negative about my parents, they just weren’t in a position to know how to guide me.
Why do I even bring up the type of work I did in college? The reason is because delivering pizza did not prepare me for the work that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I spent 6 years doing something to make a little money instead of spending 6 years gaining experience to propel me into my career.
When deciding whether or not to go back to school for a graduate degree, I asked a recruiter friend of mine if an MBA will really help me. She told me that more than anything else, experience is more important than education. Although my MBA is helping me, I do believe that experience is more important.
I won’t lie, I have struggled to work my way into a successful real estate career. Partly because I took a different path out of college which had nothing to do with real estate, but partly because I am at a point in my life where I can’t live with little to no income and still support my family. This has limited my ability to take risks financially. There are people depending on me to provide shelter, food, and lights.
What I’m really trying to say is that during the years of your life when no one else is depending on you, please take the time to decide what really interests you and spend those years gaining experience in your area of interest. Get an internship. Find someone who is doing what you want to do and offer to sweep their floors for free just to be around the field. Join organizations of professionals in your field of interest. Do something to gain experience and exposure. Please don’t deliver pizza or wait tables or bartend just because the money might be enticing. You will thank me when you are able to “work” doing what you love. At that point it won’t be working any longer.