The Big Break my Career Needed: Stanley Kubrick Died

Let me explain…

One of Kubrick’s best films is ‘A Clockwork Orange’, but given the huge backlash it received on its original cinematic release (much sexualised violence – I think in making an important point, but I understand others won’t feel that) he requested that it never be re-released.

The distributors / rights holders honoured that request – until his unexpected death in March 1999.

Fast forward 12 months, and for the first time ‘A Clockwork Orange’ is showing at my university theatre. Naturally I hang around after lectures to attend. But this was the days before smartphones, no pub on campus, so what’s a student to do with hours to kill? One thing I came across in my meanderings was a job board – old school cards stuck to a pinboard.

And there was a job for a real estate sales administrator- what the industry affectionately called a “Saturday Girl” who could answer phones, type contracts etc.

I wasn’t working, and even though the money was small I figured it would be a great way to learn about how real estate worked – maybe I only make $75/week, but if it saves me $10,000 on a house purchase someday, you know?

So the next day I applied. Got the job (my boss liked my logic about why I wanted the job) and I fell in love with the simplicity of the industry. After I graduated in 2002, he offered me a full-time job. He knew I wasn’t cut out for sales, so made me a dogsbody / office manager type role where I contributed to a huge range of functions.

Fast forward two years, and I’m the state operations manager for one of the big real estate franchises. They need someone they can fly in to every new office and deal with a huge range of functions – I was running training and auditing trust accounts, sometimes on the same morning!

Fast forward two more years, and I’m the youngest person ever offered partnership at Shirlaws Group, the international business advisory firm. Again, the breadth of expertise was an asset, and while I enjoyed the real estate industry this let me do the same work for more and bigger organisations (plus doubled my income in 18 months, twice!). I’m still doing this 15 years later, with clients over 15 countries.

So yeah – if Stanley Kubrick hadn’t died then I wouldn’t have got the real estate job then I wouldn’t have discovered advisory work then I wouldn’t have ended up in the successful career I have today.

Singing in the rain / Just singing in the rain / What a wonderful feeling, I’m happy again.

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