Paula's Adventures In Real Estate

Let me help you make your next move!

How did I get here? September 18, 2009

Filed under: Real Estate — Paula Hartwick @ 3:12 pm
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Ever wonder how you got in to the job or career you’re currently in? I know I do. Becoming a real estate sales rep was never my life’s long ambition. Is it ever anyone’s?


Truth be told, I never really had a clear vision of what I wanted to do before. Oh sure, when I was a kid, I threw around thoughts of becoming a doctor, lawyer or (gulp) actress. Probably not so much because that’s what I actually wanted to do but rather because those are jobs that tend to be the most easily recognizable to children.


Question MarkGraduating from high school, I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life but time was running out and I needed to pick something. I looked through all the brochures in the Guidance Counsellor’s office and zeroed in on the words “Advertising Executive.” I thought to myself “surely I won’t suck too bad at that” and enrolled in the Creative Advertising program at Algonquin College.


Skip over two years of late nights, deadlines and the addition of fifteenDiploma pounds worth of vending machine purchases, and I had my brand spanking new diploma in my hand. Actually, technically it was just a blank piece of paper rolled up with a ribbon  – they give you the real thing afterwards – but nonetheless, I was officially employable! 


A couple of weeks later, I managed to charm my way in to a position with Algonquin College’s Marketing Department as a Marketing Assistant. It was not without its own set of challenges (the memory of Nat turning around in her chair to make the whip cracking gesture still makes me laugh) however, I learned quite a bit during my time there. A month later, I got married and my husband and I bought our first house. That’s when the “real estate fever” started.


HGTVIt’s not like it was a super exciting process or anything. We bought the very first house we ever looked at. I can’t really explain it…I was just hooked!Virtually everyday from that time on, I would check out the new listings on the internet, go to open houses (even though we weren’t thinking of moving), and I started watching all of those real estate shows on tv. In short, I drove my husband Tristen crazy.


In the meantime, over the next 8 years, I continued my career at Algonquin College. Career…if you could call it that. Truth is, I was miserable there. Don’t get me wrong, Algonquin is a great employer. The pay was decent, the benefits good and the vacation time even better. I made a lot of friends there (who I continue to talk to and visit with) but a lot of them were starting to move on.


First, my friend Deb got married and moved to Dubai with her husband and has since taken a teaching position there. Then my “work husband” Shayne accepted a job offer as an Associate Registrar with the University of Alabama. Plus the commute was killing me. No word of a lie, there were some obscenely bad winter mornings where it took me over 3 hours to get to work. I’d arrive really tense…cursing & swearing and then still have to get through an 8 hour day. In short, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.


I talked over the possibility of starting my real estate career with Trist but itGreen light was really, really scary. I mean, by this time we have a mortgage, bills to pay, two kids and a cat. How could I even think of leaving a steady paying job?? Trist, as usual, was extremely supportive. He knew how unhappy I was and so, gave me the green light to pursue my ambition.


Crystal BallI started my real estate courses about a year before I was planning on leaving Algonquin. During that time, we scrimped and saved so we would have money to fall back on in between commission cheques. We also sold our first home and bought another, less expensive one. We knew that financially, it was probably going to be tough, at least for the first little while. Little did we know, there was to be a global recession right around the corner…


‘Till next time,



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