Considering Career Change

Updated on May 04, 2013
S.M. asks from Denton, TX
9 answers

I have already written here about our money problems and how I am thinking that either my husband or I need to get a second job. Well, I have been thinking a LOT about this lately. And I would really like a more long term solution. Neither of us have a college degree, so we don't make very much money. We are not where I want to be financially at all - not anywhere near it actually. I have ambitions and goals and I don't think I will get there in my current career. Don't get me wrong - I love my job and I love my company, but I don't see the potential of making the kind of money I want to make. I am only 31. My husband is 41 and very resistant to change. He also doesn't have the same kind of ambitions I have. He thinks we are doing fine. Anyway, I have been kicking around the idea of becoming a real estate agent. I know that the classes are really expensive and the first year can be really hard. So, my questions - What do you think about becoming a real estate agent? Any ideas on different ways of getting into the business if you are starting with no money? What about becoming an assistant in a large group - do you think they would pay for the classes? Do you think I am too old to be even thinking of such a big change?

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answers from St. Louis on

Please don't take this the wrong way but do you have any idea how many licensed agents there are out there that are now working in other fields!! There is no gold in them thar hills!

We even have a part time employee where I work that has been a full time agent for 20 years, she can't even live off of what she makes and she is a top seller!

9 moms found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

There is a lot going on in this post.

First of all, assuming you cannot make much without a college degree is silliness. Yes, a degree will get you into the door in certain professions, but there are plenty of self-made first generation millionaires who only obtained their HS diploma.

Second - why do you and your hubby have money problems? I am a firm believer that most money problems, contrary to popular belief, aren't due to lack of or too little income. Most times, they are due to not living within your means. There are, of course, exceptions - if you are raising a family of 5 on $20,000 a year, for example - then too little income would definitely be a big part of the problem.

Is there a way you can change your life to make your income work for you? Well, the answer to that is yes, it is all dependant upon how willing you are to make the changes. Have car payments? Sell your cars and buy $2000 vehicles. Have a large house payment? Sell your house and downsize. Eat out? Stop. Shop? Stop. Cable? Cancel it. I can go on and on.

I love the idea of you becoming a real estate agent, but only if you can cash flow it. I am sure there is a way to become an agent taking classes at night while still working to pay for the degree/certification. If not, I wouldn't take out any loans, that is for sure. That just creates more money problems.

Call the larger real estate groups and ask if you can start working there part-time to learn the business and whether they will pay for your classes in any situation.

You are never too old to start being in control of your money. No matter what you make, if you are in control of your money (ie live within your means and follow a budget), you will never have money problems. You may have money irritations (ie I cannot go to tahiti for 2 months like I want to because I don't have enough money for that), but that is much different than a money problem ( ie about to be foreclosed on).

Good luck!

ETA: Just read your other posts..... I am not sure how willing you are to share, but it would be very helpful if you could give us an idea of what your monthly costs are - besides day care at $600 (which wow is that cheap, we pay $1200 per month!). Do you have car payments? How many and how much? What is your monthly income, and what is going out each month that would make you end up in the negative?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Agents are just not making it work right now - it is very much a side job for many it is not the job it once was.

I would look into something else - you are not too old, this just is not the right direction for anyone right now.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You are definitely not too old to consider a different career. I wanted a change when I was in my mid 30's. Mone wasn't the motivation. Stress was. I was single and had no children so I took a leave of absence and traveled while thinking about and looking into a different career. I went back to law enforcement after I discovered that I could not make that amount of money and was not any happier in a different job. Nor would I have a good retirement plan. I decided that I could be happy as a police officer. And it was easier to be happy and feel less stress once I decided to stay.

I urge you to consider happiness with your job a huge plus. Only change if you can find happiness in a new job. Be very sure before you change.
I also suggest, since you like your job, that you focus on ways to live with what you and your husband are making.

You have ambitions. It's good to take a good look at what you want and work towards achieving that but when your focus is on income you are seriously limiting yourself. Know that to make more money you have to have more education/training/experience. Our community colleges have course work to help people who want to change careers. I suggest you start with something like that to find out what your best suited for and to learn what jobs are available within the salary range you expect.

Have you worked in real estate? Perhaps you could work a second job in a real estate office so that you can observe what the field entails.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New Orleans on

I did the real estate agent thing in my mid 20s.

First thing I was told, by several brokers, was to ensure that I had at least a year's worth of money in the bank to support myself because it takes that long to establish oneself. Most of your business comes from returning clients - the family that you sold a starter home to now buying a larger home. The family you sold the larger home to now downsizing because the kids have moved out. Oh, you pick up a sale or two here and there from cold calls to the agency when you are the agent on duty, but everyone I know who is successful in real estate says it took years to get to there.

Do you have a large network of friends,business associates, and acquaintances to draw client's from? Can you live with sporadic income - think feast or famine - for a few years?

Realize that the housing market is still fragile right now. While there has been a slight uptick in home sales - many people are still losing their homes to foreclosures. Which impacts the home sales market. If I were buying a home I would look to buy a foreclosure off the court house steps for 30k rather than one from a realtor for 80K. Even if I had to dump 10k into it to rehab it.

You can take the realtor courses while working another job - but I think you need to sponsored by a broker (at least when I did it, in my state, I had to be sponsored). Once you get your license you can do it part time while holding down a full time job until your realtor business is built up.

Best bet - go talk to some brokers in your area about the possibilities and the pros and cons of becoming a Realtor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Nope. Never too old for a career change. Doin' it as we speak as my industry is going extinct!

I think the bigger issue is your husband's denial that you are doing fine. (Read other post).

I admire your ambitions on wanting to get your financial house in order.

As for real estate, I'm not sure the market is ripe yet, BUT, why not take a career aptitude test (many online) to see what other interests you may have on the professional front.

Also, instead of taking our advice on the real estate market, how about calling a few local offices and asking their opinion.

Are they hiring?? Call maybe 5 to 10 and gage from there.

Good luck and please do not let age stop you. Some companies want us to but to heck with them.

In the end, some of us need multiple incomes to support our families and if we find something we are passionate about to make that happen, even better.
need to work to support our families

Yes, some companies do, but in the end, we all have to work and support our families.

And if we find a career that we are passionate about, even better.

Good luck and God speed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I got my license in October. Let me warn you that it is a lot of money out of pocket for the first year. I would say by the end of year it will be about $10000. I was not prepared for the money outflow. Just to take the classes at a reputable place is $1100. Plus fee to take test fingerprinting etc before you even get your license. Office bill of $105 per month I'm part of GLAR which is $450 for year, Mls is $105 every 3 months. The company you go with also as to rake their cut. If you currently have financial issues it is a lot to get into. That being said I love it and helping people. Feel free to pm me if you have questions.



answers from Dallas on

You're not to old! You may feel that way, but you're not. I had two years of school and went back at 28 to finish by the time I was 30 with two kids and I did it. Just a Business degree, and I haven't changed jobs, but now if I do I can at least check the box on the application that I have a degree.

My mom got her Realtor license about 8-10 years ago in her 50's. She had been in sales all her life, but not Real Estate. She does well, but lives in a small town and sells homes/ranches for an established real estate company. I also believe now you have to have a four year degree to get your real estate license, I may be wrong, but check on that.

What about start taking a class or two at a community college? Or, if you had some college in the past you may be closer to finishing than you thought. I finished at Amberton University in Frisco. They have many online classes and are reasonably priced.

I know right now you feel money is the issue so maybe it is a second job for a while before school. I do like Scarlett's info about looking at your budget, etc. But, maybe it's just that you don't like it so tight and just want the extra money for a little extra freedom - nothing wrong with that and kuddos to you for wanting more.

I have a good friend whose husband doesn't want her finishing school/doing something better with herself, because he doesn't want to. That's a difficult situation to be in as you are supposed to respect your husband, but they should also see that you want something better for the family, not just yourself. Maybe he's afraid you'll leave??

Maybe the company you work for could give you more responsibility or time along with a raise? Good luck to you!!



answers from Miami on

Hi Tired Mom!

I just want to add to what Flaming Turnip has said here. Real estate agents have been taking it on the chin for a long time. It's not going to change anytime soon. You think you're tired now? Wait until you are showing people houses non-stop, for months and months, and they don't buy anything...

You just cannot imagine the output of time that is necessary to be a real estate agent. Unless you get very large houses to sell, it will be so hard for you to make money with all that you have to spend to make this all a reality.

I like your jewelry idea you wrote about on your subsequent post. Being crafty is a real talent, and this is something you can do at home at your own pace!

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