MSEJ March 2015 - Page 12 |

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Deb Kloeppel asked me to write about my professional experiences, which are… a bit unusual. A little background might be helpful.

I’m the oldest of seven children; I married my childhood sweetheart; we have three adult children and three grandchildren. My family and professional lives have gone hand and hand throughout my career.

I am a retired RN and real estate agent. Additionally, my husband and I started our own company, which we ran out of our home for 24 years. You might say my career path has been diverse. Really, my story is a story of changing in order to achieve the life you want.

The pay was terrible. With the birth of twin daughters and then our son, nursing’s night-shifts and long hours were no longer an option. I considered what else I may do as a stay at home mom.

I thought that real estate, a seemingly glamorous profession, would allow me to choose my own hours and work from my home office while raking in lots of money. In truth, real estate turned out to be time consuming and difficult. I’d often show twelve houses a day and drive clients—kids and all—around to see houses.

"I did it my way"

an unusual professional path

By: Karen Birkel

I had always wanted to be a nurse, a noble profession. I had visions of relieving suffering in order to make the world a better place. In reality, I found that the hours were long and required regular weekend work.