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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 45: Poker Face

I was getting badly needed hair color early this morning and the client after me was a woman who had just moved out of State. She was in town to see her family and her favorite stylist. We shared a laugh about how important it is to cover our grey and how much we both loved our hair stylist Eka of Salon Dione.

As we chatted she shared updates of her grown children and grandchildren. She said that her daughter-in-law had just dropped her off at the salon and she was off to Commerce to play poker. It was 9 in the morning and I said, "she's going to play poker now?" The woman responded that her daughter-in-law was a professional poker player! What!?!

She went on to tell me that she was also a practicing physician, but made more money playing poker. We are talking big poker here -- making 100k in a 24 hour period.

You can imagine me ... I had millions of questions for this unsuspecting woman who just wanted her hair colored. I was fascinated how someone becomes a professional poker player. How did she learn the game? How did she get so good at it? How does she stay in a dark casino for 24 hours straight? Really. I was fascinated how anyone chooses this particular profession.

It got me thinking about career paths and professional choices. How do many of us end up doing what we are currently doing for work? For some they always knew what they wanted to be when they grew up and they never wavered and are doing exactly that job. For others it's more of a journey. A lot of trial and errors until the right fit or profession came along. Some had opportunity. Right family business. Right contact. Right place at the right time.

Career choice has been on my mind a lot lately. The job I wanted did not happen for me when I lost my campaign in March 2009. When I graduated high school I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up -- and I did it. I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. After graduating with a Master's Degree in broadcast management from Pepperdine University I scored the dream job of a life time at an NBC affiliate station. First as a general assignment reporter, then on to hosting my own public affairs show, "Robyn Ritter Reports". (pictured here anchoring the nightly news with my friend to this day Tom Catlin as my cameraman).

Journalism offers everything I love. Interaction with people. Asking questions, excitement, passion. As the journey went on, and the hubby and three children came along my career refocused on other passions, but every pursuit encompassed these original professional attractions. You gotta love people to work in media and you gotta love people to be in politics.

While I listened to the woman in the salon talk about poker I thought, damn this poker playing physician is having so much fun making money by playing a game! I thought of all the people in dead end professions, with no excitement or thrill or fun. I was grateful that I had had so many exciting professional opportunities along my career path. And I realized more then I had in a long time that what I love is talking with and to people. I love to stand in front of a camera or an audience of hundreds and tell a story. That's my poker game, and it's time to get back to it!

Side bar: In addition to Tom, my boss from the KMIR-NBC reporting gig is still a friend to this day -- from some twenty-five years ago! She is a follower on my blog ... check her cute picture out -- she and I are wearing hats! Best job I ever had and the best boss. I love you Tina!


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Thank you so much for your interest in my 49th year! I appreciate your support! -Robyn