Financial Literacy - Careers
Career Makeover: Diane Herman

Her accounting knowledge appears to be helping her gain the maximum amount of income from the properties. In addition, she is acutely aware of the financial impact of the decisions she makes.

Step 1: Focus on rental properties

Since rental properties are her passion, Diane should focus on buying more rental properties or find other properties she can manage.

Her work selling real estate is a residual of the contacts she makes with rental property management, so she is spending no extra effort in marketing her services to prospective clients, which is good.

While it's possible to find a job in a large organization that combines all three skill sets -- finance, vacation rentals and real estate -- it would probably take her away from the positive customer feedback that fuels her passion.

Career help in 3 steps
  1. Focus on rental properties.
  2. Keep the accounting job.
  3. Consider consulting.

Tip: Outline your goals on this career assessment work sheet.
She should continue to buy or manage rental properties so she can grow this revenue stream. She should see the extra hours that it requires upfront as an investment in her own business.

Step 2: Keep the accounting job

In the meantime, Diane should continue working at the accounting job while building her business because it provides a steady and predictable income stream and benefits, including health benefits.

Because keeping books for a small company takes only eight hours a week, it allows her to be flexible with her time.

Step 3: Consider consulting

Time management is the area Diane should focus on, especially when working more than one job. When we are doing what we love and we are "givers," we tend to share our knowledge to help others.

Diane often finds herself instructing others about how to be successful in the property management business. While helping others is a good thing to do, she was spending too much time giving away services for which she could charge.

Going forward, she should meet with a person for 45 minutes to an hour to determine his or her needs and whether she can help that person. If after that time period they require further instruction, Diane can then provide a proposal for how she can help that person reach goals in property management, along with her fee schedule.

If all needs were met in that first appointment, then there would be no need for a proposal, and Diane could focus her energy on her own business opportunities. But if more help were needed, she should be compensated for her time. This process minimizes her spending too much of her time helping others be successful while ignoring her own business needs.

While this would create a fourth job, it is a revenue stream that should not be ignored because she would at least get paid for some of the time she spends helping others. It's good to be charitable, but that charity needs to have boundaries.

Postscript: After speaking to me, Diane found that there were no immediately obvious options for regular full-time employment with a large company. However, I did help her see how she could make more money from her main interest -- property management. Diane has since taken on four condos to manage for others.

Pam Venne

Prepared by Pam Venne, a management style coach, licensed professional counselor, career transition consultant and principal at the The Venne Group.




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