With 2020 and the election behind us, I am hopeful 2021 will be a much better year, deserved by all.

If 2020 taught me anything, it is that I am capable of achieving whatever I set my mind to. I survived job losses and job hunts, the shift to a life and career online, and the constantly changing landscape of what normalcy might look like.

Unwilling to accept my fate of becoming a jobless and broke bartender after being furloughed during the pandemic, I found new sources of income and made myself essential when I was told I was otherwise.

When you define yourself by your work achievements and identify yourself with your career the way I do, being without work is out of the question.

When you have spent 10 years working manual-labor jobs and one day you are told you cannot come back, you have to get resourceful to pay your bills.

For the sake of my sanity and self-preservation, I stayed busy finding work in 2020. Over the course of my 20s, while many of my female friends focused on building families and becoming moms, I focused on gaining full-time employment in jobs that allowed me to travel and gain new life experiences.

When I finally reached full-time status with Hilton in 2020 after a decade of trying for health care insurance as a bartender, it was taken from me amid the pandemic furloughs. So I pivoted. I am still pivoting today, and that’s what makes me a great new Realtor.

I am able to adapt and think quick on my feet.

I went from bartending at the Red Sage restaurant at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder to shopping for Instacart in Santa Fe to selling homes for Keller Williams Realty in Santa Fe and Los Alamos.

I am still doing the latter two jobs one year later.

I love my weekends Instacart shopping and my days spent helping buyers and sellers with their home sales.

Through it all, I did not give up. That’s ultimately the lesson of being a Realtor, too, I have realized. Especially in Santa Fe, you cannot give up if you want to survive.

Referrals either make or break Realtors. I have developed sharp negotiation skills and a deep advocacy for working with buyers and sellers. I have learned my value as a broker and saved my clients thousands of dollars in home repairs.

I have learned to become a listing agent and have a property under contract in less than 24 hours. I have learned how to manage the uncharted waters of social media by marketing myself to potential buyers and sellers alike. I cannot wait to see what is behind the veil of 2021, as it slowly begins to unfold for my second year in Santa Fe as a Realtor.

Making It Through is a column by Santa Fe workers and business people about the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Jenna Hensley is a Realtor at Keller Williams Realty and a shopper for Instacart in Santa Fe. Originally from Austin, Texas, Hensley lives with her fiancé on a small farm in La Mesilla. Contact her at Jenna.Hensley@KW.com or 505-699-3204.

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