Anthony Robles, 36, is a real estate agent at Space Marketing Shop in Manhattan. He worked at a telecom company for 12 years, where he worked his way up to senior management positions in the technical and customer care departments.
Why did you switch? I began doing real estate part time, working with this company part time [because] it's something that I always wanted to get into. I was very successful at it right from the beginning and I began working full time with them [last] May.
What are some pros and cons of your new job? The pros are making your own schedule - comparing this to working 12 years in the telecomm industry - [and] not having 50 or 60 people working under me at one time and dealing with all of their issues, on top of being held accountable for all of their actions. I'm not obligated to be in an office at any specific time. I was the company's top producer in my first year in real estate and I had my first sales exclusive in my first year. I love meeting new people every day [and] in real estate I can take vacation whenever I want.
The cons do take away from family time; if you can't work weekends in real estate you're not going to be successful. I have to work Saturdays and Sundays, I can't watch football, or attend many family parties. This is a 100% commission job, you don't know what your next check will be, which is very different from working with a company on salary with benefits.
Are you happy with your career switch? Absolutely. I feel like I wasted so many years in the wrong field, but I think all of those years probably molded me into the person I am today to be successful.
Do you have any advice for readers who are considering a career 180? It is only in our nature that we become comfortable and sometimes scared of change. If you can continue to support yourself and/or your family, all career-change opportunities should be carefully taken into consideration.