Thankfulness, Black Friday, and the down side of getting a "real" job

Today is Black Friday.  One day removed from giving thanks for all that we have, all the blessings in our lives, Americans rush out to get MORE stuff.  As I sit in my office with snow falling outside, the mindset of thankfulness has not yet left me.

I’m thankful for the home that was so filled with love, family, noise, good smells, food and football yesterday.  I’m blessed to own my home, thanks to a loan from the bank and a career that allows me to earn commensurate with my ability and work ethic. 

The memories we make in that home are my most treasured, including waking up from a turkey coma at 11:30 last night on the living room floor, finding my 12 and 6 year olds asleep on the couches, and my 10 year old still engrossed in his own Mythbusters marathon, courtesy of Netflix.

I’m thankful for being part of an industry where what we’re selling fits into Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs.  Just above basic Physiological needs lies our need for Security, which translates to shelter -a place to live- on a simplistic sense.  Beyond day to day shelter, though I also have the ability to assist people in their financial security with good decisions about real estate ownership, which remains one of the key contributors to the building of wealth.

I’m also thankful that I’m not out battling the crowds, trying to find Black Friday deals, and that my wife isn’t either.  More importantly though, I’m REALLY glad that I don’t work in retail.  I’m working today because I choose to, and because I know it is a day when I can be productive.  However I’m also taking two hours off to go see a holiday movie at the State Theater with my kids.  Not a single one of our Realtors were required to come in at 8:00 on Thanksgiving night, or 3 am on Black Friday in order to keep shelves stocked, check people out, or work security for the crowds of shoppers.

Those jobs are fine for those who enjoy them, but as I actively work to recruit new talent to our company, I encounter folks who can’t fathom working without the “security” of a regular paycheck.  While I can understand that thinking, it comes with significant limits to both income and self-direction.  Perhaps more noteworthy though is the false security that comes with working for others, as profiled in the article 4 Ways Self-Employment Is Less Risky than Getting a Job by Joel Canfield, which I originally found on the blog Lateral Action.

I’m thankful for the opportunity that selling real estate has provided me:  To define my own success, to provide well for my family, and to live in the most beautiful place in the world.

Lastly, I’m thankful that my path in this industry has now taken me to a place where I get to take a role in finding and developing great talent for our industry, and set the stage for another generation of rockstar Realtors to achieve their full potential.

If you'd like to learn more about why I believe that this is the top career option in Michigan, or know someone who is looking, please contact me.  Or for an assessment of how you'd fit in a real estate career, visit our career page and take our Free Career Assessment.

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