3 Tips to Jump Start Your Career

This post is part of Coldwell Banker’s Women in Leadership Series. We’ve been sharing the unique, uplifting and trailblazing stories of women leaders throughout the Coldwell Banker Network, and larger family. Check out Pauline Bennett’s, president of Carolina’s at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, story.

This is a contributor post by Pauline Bennett, president Carolina’s, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Recently I was asked to “tell my story” –  to share some insight into my career path as a woman in real estate.   Fair warning – in my family telling stories is definitely more of an art than a science – and they always get bigger, better and funnier with time!  So, this time I’ll try to stick with the facts…

Just Say Yes – Even though I grew up in a generation of “just say no,” when it came to real estate and my career I did just the opposite.  From leaving the sales force for leadership positions to leaving the nest I called home for new markets and new opportunities – I kept saying yes.  Now, in all fairness, I didn’t exactly sit on the sidelines and wait.  I raised my hand.  Sometimes I jumped up and down.  We all know Sheryl Sandberg says women need to “Lean In” – so I figured I would DIVE IN.  I have a lot of energy – wanted to be challenged and grow both personally and professionally.  And, without a doubt, I can say I didn’t need to even know Coldwell or Banker to grow in my career.  We are in a performance-based industry and I just made sure I made the most out of any opportunity that came my way.  Not only did that build my self-confidence, it built the confidence others had in me.  Don’t think you need to be an expert in something before you ask for a shot.  Hard work and doing the right thing still count for a lot.

Big Brother/Big Sister – I think the saying “it’s not what you know it’s who you know” has transformed itself into one word.  Mentorship.  There is no doubt that a few people stand out as game changers in my life and in my career.  Here’s a bit of advice – go out and find your mentors.  Don’t wait for a program or to be assigned to someone.  Find the person and then find ways to make a strong connection.  This is one thing that is truly better organic because it has to be real.  I can only hope that I will make half as much impact with others as a very small few have made with me.

Leave it on the Field – Real estate has no sense of time.  Nine to five doesn’t exist in this world.  Real estate comes home with you at night, to the grocery store on weekends, and to the ballfields or movie theaters.  After a while – it’s just your life!  I decided that anything I do that much – I want to do it with people that are up to something.  Don’t wait for some day, some thing, or some person to come along.  Surround yourself with people that inspire you, challenge you, make you laugh, and ultimately make you better.  When I was young, my mother used to say “show me your company and I’ll tell you who you are.”  I didn’t understand it then, but I sure do now. 

If you’re a part of the Coldwell Banker network and interested in listening to the next Women in Leadership call, be sure to visit CB Exchange and search “Women in leadership” to find out the details. To find out more about how Coldwell Banker can be the place that supports you and your business, visit CBWomen.com.

Senior Manager, Public Relations & Giving for Coldwell Banker. Grew up in Sarasota and attended college at Western Carolina University. Athena wanted to wake up in that city that doesn’t sleep so headed to Madison Avenue to start her marketing career. She has been with this awesome brand for more than 15 years and can be found generating buzz about CB in every way possible. Athena helps to grow the brand’s position as the most storied real estate company within the industry and has led many high-profile endeavors; she was at the forefront of the brand’s pioneering smart home campaign, raised $6 million in two years to build 130 Habitat for Humanity homes, and led the Homes for Dogs program in partnership with Adopt-a-Pet.com that resulted in tens-of-thousands of dogs finding their furever home. She currently leads the CB Supports St. Jude program, which encourages the Coldwell Banker network’s 96,000+ real estate agents to make donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for every real estate transaction they represent. In her spare time, you can find her either digging up a new area in her yard for another flower bed or planning her next travel adventure. She's the proud mom of three cats Jolene, Ziggy and Lucy.

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