What makes someone leave the medical field to jump head-first into the exciting, but unpredictable, world of real estate? According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 82 percent of agents got into real estate as a second career. Not all of us are made to stick to a 9-5 way of thinking- some of us are determined to do more to help the people in our communities.. Read on to find out how Eileen Van Kooten-Schmitt left her job as a medical technician to break free of the status quo. She shares her story of striving to do more for the people she cares about through a second career in real estate.

left medical field for real estate

I went to school to be a medical laboratory technician. One of my sisters was a Licensed Practical Nurse so I thought it would be cool to be in the medical field as well. I drew patients’ blood and analyzed it, as well as other body fluids and specimens. I worked in a hospital and a few doctors’ offices. 

I had always worked other side jobs in addition to my main job. I was always looking for more fulfillment in my career. About eight years ago, my job at a doctor’s office ended due to restructuring. A friend suggested I look at the real estate business but I turned her down twice. The third time she suggested it, I seriously thought about it and decided to start taking classes. 

From Seeing Patients to Seeing Clients

I’ve always liked a challenge and even though I turned down the chance to go into real estate twice, I started to think ‘Why not?’ I knew I would regret it if I didn’t try it. It took some time to get my business off the ground, but I had built relationships and connections in my previous careers that helped me start. I was blessed to have clients who helped me flourish and cared about how I could be successful. In the end, it didn’t take me as long as I thought it would to get started because I was persistent and did not give up. 

The medical field taught me to listen more, be patient, be kind and be caring. All of these are good traits, but I wanted to be even better than that for my clients so they could see this is really who I am.  I just don’t like the status quo; I like to be the best at what I can be and enjoy life along the way. 

As my real estate career has grown, I’ve become more relentless. This is not a 9-5 job when it comes to answering phone calls or showing homes. It’s standing beside my clients through the entire process of buying or selling.

The Flexibility (and Challenges) of Real Estate

I love the flexibility to work as much as I want and no ceiling on my pay. This is my own business and I create my own environment. It’s changed my life and my perspective. Now I have the ability to do the things I want in life that I wasn’t able to do before or didn’t have the time to do. I’m now in an environment where flexibility exists and I know that my hard work goes a long way, especially financially. 

My earning potential has evolved much faster than I expected. I am much busier than I used to be so my time is not always just “my time.” I have learned I need to schedule personal time in my calendar so I don’t work all the time. 

A Drive to Do More for Others

I always felt like I wanted something more in my life than to just go to work and come home. In my other 9-5 jobs, I felt limited with how I could help people. I care about people and always want the best for them. I wanted to be the person who goes above and beyond what is asked of me and be part of my people’s personal lives. 

I make sure that I am always taking care of my clients like they want me to take care of them. Each person is different and has different needs. Fulfillment comes when I can sit down with people and help them buy a new house or sell their home. 

left medical field for real estate
Me and my family!

Ready to break free of the mundane and the ordinary and build your life the way you want it to be? Find out if real estate is the right choice for you and take our simple personality test to see if you have what it takes to take your life beyond just the ordinary.