Celebrate the Path to Your Apartment Career During Apartment Careers Month

As we celebrate Apartment Careers Month this month, NAAEI is reaching out to high school and college students to make them aware of the exciting job opportunities we offer and to advise about working in the industry.

You may have heard that our theme this year is “The Apartment Industry is Home to Many Successful Careers!”

My early jobs in high school taught me the importance of good customer service and of working hard at whatever job I was given. My time in the Army National Guard while in college further cemented my belief in the value of hard work.

The importance of hard work is perhaps best summed up in a quote from motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar, “your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” He also is credited with another of my favorite quotes: “When you do more than you are paid to do, you will eventually be paid more for what you do."

Those quotes reflect a philosophy that I have encouraged in my team members--and in my own children. No one is “too good” for any job.  You have to be willing to grow where you’re planted, and pay your dues. 

Hard work, determination and a can-do attitude will get you noticed and open doors. Waiting for a promotion or opportunity to come your way because of a sense of “entitlement,” however, rarely results in the next opportunity.  If it does, it typically doesn’t last.  Don’t underestimate the value of hard work and determination.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “to get what you've never had, you must do what you've never done.” Understanding this short quote can be the difference between winning or losing and between greatness or mediocrity. It captures the essence of discipline.

Best-selling author, Brian Tracy, highlighted this Jefferson quote in his book "The Power of Discipline: 7 Ways It Can Change Your Life.” In its introduction, he also cites a quote by Thomas Huxley: “Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”

That sentiment applies to many people working in our industry. Some of our brightest stars started as part-time leasing professionals, housekeepers or porters and are now officers of companies or owners of their own consulting firms.

In fact, I advise others to consider the following if they are wondering whether an apartment career is right for them.

  • If you don’t mind working hard, getting your hands dirty, and doing things that may be outside of your job description, then this is a great opportunity for you.
  • If you’re a team player, think quick on your feet, are willing to take the initiative to lead but can also follow when needed and don’t mind who gets the credit, then an apartment career is for you. 
  • If you enjoy the comfort of mastering repetitive tasks, yet enjoy the thrill of never knowing what challenge may come your way each day, then this industry is for you. 
  • If you are the most positive person you know, but can be serious when the situation calls for it, then you are the right fit. 
  • If you’re looking for an opportunity that can lead to endless career potential, then this is for you.

I urge you to pass along these messages to others who might not know what our industry has to offer in terms of careers. Highlight them when you speak to other groups or if you have an opportunity to speak with high school or college students.

Also, suggest they visit ApartmentCareerHQ.org to look at the types of jobs typically available in our industry.

Stephanie Puryear Helling is the Director of Education and Training at Greystar.