I have worked in a ton of jobs in my life- bartender, deli counter, dishwasher, landscaping, telemarketing, and even pizza delivery. Each task in some way prepared me for Life. I want my children to be even better-prepared than I was for this adulthood thing, and the following are, I feel, some "must have" jobs that I want my kids to experience as they grow into responsible adults.
- Some sort of manual labor-landscaping, roofing, or construction. The significance of this will be to teach them that all work is honorable, good work, and what it is like to work around real people. There is no pretense in the trades. Moreover, nothing says "stay in school" like a sore back, a nasty hammer blister, or a sunny 100 degree day applying hot tar to a roof.
- A gratuity-based job like waiting tables or bartending. Working for tips brings out the inner entrepreneur and teaches a person what customer service is about. Some of those lessons hurt-like getting stiffed with no tip from a difficult, nasty patron. Overall, however, the lesson that you'll earn more if you hustle and deliver the goods to an increasingly demanding public is as valuable as a college semester in my mind. Plus, they feed you!
- Work in a real estate office. I don't have any expectations that my children will follow me into real estate, although I am working to build something for them if they choose. However, even if they work in an office over the summer, that would show them what it means to deal with clients, the public, and professional colleagues. I want them to know what goes into this, which, to any licensee reading this knows, is a great deal. I also want them to know their old man wasn't sipping cognac at a mahogany desk all those hours.
- Something they love with no pay. An internship or volunteer position in a field they might love, be it art, medicine, dog grooming or teaching assistant would certainly help them decide if they really want to be in that field. If you love it pro bono, it will never be work when they pay you.
While I certainly was powerfully influenced by family, professors and coaches, I was equally enriched growing up by a butcher while working counter at his deli a block away from Sing Sing Prison in high school. You can't be a prima donna and survive a line of grumpy prison guards at 11pm waiting for their hoagies.
Real estate brokerage is an ecelctic mixture of field work and desk work. We inhabit no ivory tower. I believe those of us who succeed in this work aren't far removed from other work which teach life's most basic lessons: work hard. Hustle. Fill the need. Listen. Don't take yourself too seriously. I did all of the different jobs I write about when I was younger, and it makes me a better broker, a better husband and father, and, I hope, a better man.
J. Philip Faranda is the Broker and Owner of J. Philip Real Estate, LLC in Briarcliff Manor, NY. He is a Top 10 Producer for closed single family transactions out of almost 7000 licensees in the Westchester-Putnam MLS in both 2007 and 2008. You can log onto the company Home Page at www.jphilip.com
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J. Philip Serves Briarcliff Manor, Ossining, Croton on Hudson, Pleasantville, Sleepy Hollow, White Plains, Yonkers, Peekskill, Cortlandt, Tarrytown, Yorktown, Montrose, Hawthorne, Thornwood, Valhalla, Hartsdale & all of Westchester County, New York.