Finding Satisfaction in Career Change

Updated: Jan 7

Before COVID-19, I classified myself as a full-time bartender. But post-COVID-19, I am identifying with “Licensed Realtor” and quite frankly, I am welcoming the change of career titles. As a response to being furloughed from my bartending job at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder’s Red Sage restaurant in early 2020, I changed careers entirely and have been focused on rebuilding and reinventing myself. As bars begin to reopen, I am finding myself so preoccupied with real estate clients that I may not have time for bartending after all. The pandemic provided me with an opportunity for a total career change. I recall many years of bar service wishing that I was “doing something bigger with my life,” and I am getting that chance as a response to the food and beverage industry shutting down. It has been an exciting month turning lemons into lemonade, but it has required some hope, a little pinch of faith and lots of preparation and training. It only took a pandemic to force me onto a new life path, and I am grateful for the turn of events that led me to becoming a Realtor. Having worked for the No. 1 company to work for in America, Hilton, I would say a very close second would be Keller Williams Realty. As heartbreaking as it was to say goodbye to my employer Hilton, that carried me through the first part of my life and career, there were some folks of the Hilton team who had spent years at that property. Saying goodbye is never easy, but with patience, persistence and a drive for success - new doors to new paths opened up and gave me something even bigger in life.

Although I do miss bartending and serving vacationers with local spirits and insights on things to do in Santa Fe, I am finding myself to be much more useful to the community by helping Seller's List their homes on the real estate market or by helping Buyers Relocate to Santa Fe. I am discovering so much pride in my work as a Realtor. I work with a lot of New Mexico transplants who went through a similar transition as I did, moving to Santa Fe (or the Los Alamos area) from far away and having to learn the market and town as an outsider. I enjoy helping those moving to the area — there truly is no job more rewarding than helping families find their home or achieve their dreams.

Jenna Hensley is a Realtor at Keller Williams Realty New Mexico. Originally from Austin, Texas, Jenna lives with her fiancé on a small farm in San Pedro, NM.

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