How I Created a Job I Love
In November 2015, I went out on my own and started a consulting business that would offer recruiting and career services. For the first few months, all I (and my loyal support system) could think about was: “What on earth was I thinking?” But it didn’t take long for the hard work and long days to pay off. Now, as I celebrate my one-year anniversary freelancing and consulting (with Building Careers as my main client), I couldn’t be happier and more fulfilled in my career, while helping others find theirs.
What has stood out most for me over the past twelve months is this: Our professional success ultimately comes from combining our passion with our innate strengths. In my story, figuring out what those two things were was the first step.
I had held jobs and had gained experience in both tech recruiting and commercial real estate. I was successful at recruiting and loved the people I worked with in the CRE industry, but I wasn’t fulfilled doing just one or the other. That’s when the light bulb went off! I knew that I needed to merge the two into what I was quickly realizing was my dream job. I wanted to work with people in commercial real estate and help them better promote themselves and connect them with quality opportunities.
The second step was finding the right clients and partnerships. I signed on with Carly and Building Careers as my first client and have been working with them ever since. I could not be more grateful for the professional relationship that we share.
Through my work with Building Careers, I get to help reputable commercial real estate companies find stellar team members. I talk with commercial real estate experts every day and find out what motivates them, what they are passionate about, what their professional and personal goals are and where they find success.
From there, I help guide them to the company, position and team that will support those goals and bring out the best versions of them. Seeing a perfect match between a company and employee - where both parties are not only bringing value to one another but are genuinely thriving - is the ultimate win.
This year, I have also consulted with many commercial real estate individuals/clients on a one-on-one basis, providing resume and cover letter writing support services. Helping people highlight and promote their stories, strengths and successes ultimately takes them to the next step in their careers.
The third step was work hard. There is no 9 to 5 when you work for yourself. You are on call for your clients pretty much 24/7. In our business, people need to talk before or after work hours and so my work hours had to change. I’ve found myself taking most calls before 8am or after 5pm.
There is no shut off your computer, leave the office and I’ll get to it tomorrow. I even took a call from the shower one morning because it was one I absolutely could not miss! But the funny thing is, when you love what you’re doing and you’re successful at doing it, the hard work isn’t hard.
The final step: “You are entirely up to you.” This is something I have repeated to myself a lot over the last year. I am a big believer that you cannot always control what happens in your life, but you can control how you react and how you move forward. The choices we make, the people we let into our lives, our drive and ultimately the success that we have, is up to us.
I am blessed to have been given some amazing professional opportunities in my lifetime and to have my Dad as an inspiring role model. He is a longtime commercial architect who taught me the importance of building quality relationships and having a firm handshake.
But I also make the choice every day to continue to surround myself with the people and mentors who inspire me to take risks, challenge me to step outside of my comfort zone to keep growing, and remind me to use the power within me (and that we all have within us) to be the person I want to be.
From someone who spends each day helping people find their next position, here is my advice: Don’t go looking for your next job. Figure out what it is you love to do and what you’re good at and do that. I bet you’ll be successful and will in turn bring value to the company you work for and that success will make you love it even more. It’s a beautiful cycle.
Photo: Julia and John Turpit, father and mentor