RV PRO

September '18

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B y the time Tim O'Brien retired from the Daytona Beach Police Department in 1995, he had logged more than 20 successful years with the Florida police department, rising in his career from college cadet to deputy chief. At the time, he seemed more likely to find the next logical stepping stone in his administrative law enforcement career than in flipping the script and buying his father-in-law's growing RV dealership in Michigan. Still attracted by what he described as a "cottage industry" then – one built around relationships – O'Brien says he has never looked back. "As an investigator, you're always looking for the facts," says O'Brien, who has served as president of Lapeer, Mich.-based Circle K RV for 22 years. "I spent a large part of my career interviewing and interrogating people, getting to know people's temperaments." O'Brien says many of the same skills he used as an investi- gator helped him fundamentally in how he relates both to his employees and his customers. However, O'Brien admits he had a lot to learn about both the industry itself and the road to making the sale. Prepping Early for Career Change Second act career changes, such as O'Brien's, are so prev- alent now that career advisors are preparing students at the beginning of their professions for the high likelihood that they will hold multiple different types of jobs over the course of their careers. Successful Second Acts Mentorship, transferrable skills and passions draw professionals from other fields to become RV dealers. By Holli Koster 102 • RV PRO • September 2018 rv-pro.com D E A L E R S

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