Remember when I said big news was coming?
Today, I signed my resignation for next school year. It was a very long, very difficult decision. I love French, and I could love teaching at the university level, but I don’t want to do six more years of school and have to move. I had a really hard time making the decision to leave my kids – I’ve had some of these students for three years, and it’s hard not to feel like a mom to them. But teaching, at least in the junction of my life, just isn’t for me.
This decision started way back in October of 2009. I started to really doubt that I could be happy teaching for the next 26 years. That’s the main thing I’ve said all along – I feel very much connected by the jobs that I do, and I want to be happy, not just make a living. How many people do you know who absolutely despise their jobs? My point exactly. So, I started looking at different careers. I contacted my undergrad school’s career services department and took a few aptitude tests. I even applied to nursing school about 12 hours before we found out I was pregnant with Clark (which obviously was no longer feasible given the pay cut).
I made it through last year, didn’t find another job, and decided that maybe it was just a rough year. I made a point to come back to this school year with an open mind and as much tenacity as I could muster, and things started off okay, but they quickly spiraled down again. I found myself really loathing coming to work each day, despite some awesome kids and great colleagues. After working with an administrator to try to mitigate some of my feelings, I started looking for careers again – I didn’t want to hop to another job that I would feel the same way about! And, honestly, I kind of fell into real estate.
Real estate has crossed my mind before but the thought of living off commission scared (and still scares) me. I knew it was something I’d be good at, as I have had great success with sales in the past and have the office experience/people skills. It was easy to find connections with real estate to my other hobbies and interests. Take this blog, for example; when it was focused on its original purpose and not all-encompassing, it was oriented towards houses and other aspects of homes. Or the fact that I love to take pictures, and could incorporate photography into part of my normal routine, albeit a different type of photography (Side note: Have you seen how terrible most MLS photos are??? More about that later!).
Ultimately, a meeting with my local Century 21 office (and my future home office! Squee!) was what made me sure. The office is like a family and from the first moment, they were willing not only to have me join them, but also to let me shadow and learn from them while taking my classes, and to assist me in my transition between careers. When I found out that my teaching job was cut to half-time for the following year (and that serendipitously the scheduling sheets that are used to make allocations were turned in the exact day that I met with Century 21), I felt even more reassured that this is the right move for me. I like to think that God was looking out for me when he helped bring me to this place in my life.
Saturday is the final step in becoming an agent. I’ve been taking licensing classes on top of all of my teaching work and grad school craziness, and it’s been a lot to juggle. But, my perseverance will hopefully pay off as I take my licensing exam this weekend (just in time for Easter, I might add). That’s the final step before I am approved for a license.
And now for the fun stuff! Here’s a link to my professional Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amanda-Howard-Century-21Garner-Properties/206791349348064 .
Also, look at a few pictures from my recent photoshoot with Tine Hofmann of TM Photography!