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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Making a Major Career Move

Dear Sue: I currently am employed full time with a company that pays me a meager salary considering my experience and qualifications. For some reason I seem to accept and work at positions that do not meet my educational background or tap into my potential. In other words, I keep selling myself short when it comes to finding a good and lucrative career.

I am planning on becoming pregnant soon. Before I do I would like to be settled in a better job and establish myself in a career. I recently got my license to sell real estate, and have been offered a position as an agent. I am nervous and torn as to whether or not real estate is for me. My current position has a set schedule and is a salaried position without a chance for much variety or a pay increase. Working in real estate would offer me the opportunity to have a flexible schedule as well as an opportunity to earn a great paycheck. Iíve been offered a position that would pay me a draw against commission. Receiving a draw would relieve me of lot of stress about making money. The way I see it, my income can only increase. However, I would have to work some weekends and evenings, which would interfere with my personal life. How do I decide if a career in real estate is for me?

Sue Says: There is no perfect choice or magical way of knowing. If you stay where you are, you continue to sell yourself short and know what to expect. If you leave and pursue real estate, you wonít have as much structure, which you may or may not like and you are entering uncharted territory. Some people thrive on stability and predictability, while others flourish when presented with the challenge of the unknown. You are considering two unknowns Ė becoming pregnant and having a child, and a career in real estate. Both have enormous responsibility and will change your life. I recommend that you pursue one at a time rather than both simultaneously, which could very easily and understandably overwhelm you.

The only way you will ever know for sure if real estate is for you is to give it a try. I sense you want to go for it, but are afraid. What have you got to lose? The worst thing that can happen is that it doesnít work out. People experiment with different jobs all the time. Deciding it isnít what you want doesnít have to be a negative or reflect your ability. You can always try something else or go back to a more structured job.

Youíve already begun the process of moving into real estate by getting your license. If you are nervous about quitting your job too soon, perhaps you can slowly work into the real estate position by working evenings and weekends until you have a better feel for the business. If you donít give it a try, you will always wonder what might have been, and may end up regretting your decision and resenting your job.
The decision is yours, but if you want some encouragement, youíve got it; go for it!

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

Send Sue your questions by clicking here: Ask Sue
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