Six weeks ago, if you told me about last Friday, I would never have believed you. Six weeks ago, I had a great job that I intended to retire from in five years and my life pattern was pretty well set. The staff and I had worked hard for 9 months using an intentional Can Do approach and had created a strong team model; and, we were really having fun doing it! I had just finished a report for the Board that highlighted how the team and I were meeting and exceeding our goals for the year, and what my five year goals were for the organization. Our program was at capacity. There was a leak in the roof, but that’s part of having an 86 year old building. Sure, there were challenges and differences in approach in some areas of my nonprofit leadership position, but challenges are inherent in any job – and, in my view, part of the cost of doing business in a model that is focused on change & growth.
Five weeks ago, my head was spinning. The President of the Board of Directors told me that the Board was seriously considering not renewing my contract at the end of June. Seriously?
The following Tuesday, I realized that the differences between us were much more fundamental than I had previously believed. Two days later, we met and I learned that they would not renew the contract. I, sadly agreed with the decision. Seriously.
So, I began to actively explore what I would do next. Since it was not my first time at this crossroad, I went to work immediately, reinventing myself as my hubby has since dubbed it.
Four weeks ago yesterday, I registered for the online 60 hour course that is required before taking the Virginia Real Estate Licensing Exam. Friday, I passed that exam. The testing company does not reveal the scores – I just know and am very grateful and relieved that I passed. Real Estate as a career is something I have toyed with for several years, and it is in my blood: both my parents were Realtors, as are my brother and one of my cousins. I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead – the people I will meet and the special opportunity I will have to support them through the major life transition of buying or selling their home.
My friends have been telling me how impressed they are with what I accomplished: reinventing myself and passing the exam and (most of the time) keeping my Can Do attitude in play. I was blessed to be participating in a Lenten Retreat as these changes unfolded, and used that time and those spiritual resources to help me discern next steps. I was surrounded by a caring community of family and friends, and I am grateful beyond words for their strong support during this very difficult time.
As I recover from the stresses of preparing for and taking (and passing!!) the exam, I gotta tell you, I am VERY proud of myself and VERY impressed with my achievements in these four short weeks. Not only have I taken the course and passed the exam, but I have acquired and integrated the knowledge to begin an entirely new field of work.
And… and…. I am affiliating with an OUTSTANDING brokerage to launch my new career: Keller Williams in McLean. I chose KW because of the strong alignment with my Can Do Workplace model. Their mission is: CAREERS WORTH HAVING. BUSINESSES WORTH OWNING. LIVES WORTH LIVING. Their belief system reads like a chapter of the Can Do Workplace!
The people in the McLean office – from the Team Leader and Assistant Team Leader, to agents and brokers and the front desk staff – have been over the top supportive of me, welcoming and excited about not just what they can do for me, but also what strengths and potential I bring to their team.
Right now, my status is Coming Soon. In the two to three week lag while the application for my license is being processed in Richmond, I will work with them to get myself ready for a very different “next five years” than I had imagined just six weeks ago.
Imagine What You Can Do!
Wow. Crazy hectic, but exciting. You always find a way Cathi. You Can Do whatever you want to and do it well. Congrats to you my friend. I know this will be another success.
I have a feeling I may have replied already. However, even if I am saying it again, you have done an amazing job of proving you “can do” and making it work. You go girl! I will keep in mind that you are in McLean. Cathy
Cathi, being self employed can be very gratifying. After being self employed for 43 years I can attest to this concept. “You get out of it what you put into it”. There is one thing that always concerned me about working for someone else. Doing your best, and doing a good job, was no guarantee of stability. Our generation valued loyalty. Today that is a lost ideal. Congratulations on making a good decision. John