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Some are minor with very little effect. With that said, do we seize these opportunities when they come knocking? Do we create our own opportunities?
Before we can properly answer these questions, we must define what opportunities are. Webster's online dictionary describes them as a favourable juncture of circumstances, a good chance for advancement or progress. In economics, we learn of opportunity costs as the cost we pay when we give up something to get something else.
Often times, people wait for "doors" to open. They wait because of timing, they wait because of others, they wait because of market conditions, they wait for change to present itself, they wait, they wait and wait. Benjamin Disraeli, statesman and prime minister to Britain once said, "The secret of success in life is for a man (woman) to be ready for his (her) opportunity when it comes". I would also add to this and say we must create our own opportunities now.
How can we really seize and maximise an opportunity if we don't comprehend the value and significance of it? Here are a few essential building blocks for creating and acting on opportunities:
* Build a Blueprint, Then Act: Whatever phase or position you are in within your profession, build a blueprint of a successful career. Plans and directions may change but now is the time to use your blueprint of success to chart, map and act. This will be essential as opportunity doors begin to open.
* Build a Door: Yes, build a door but a proverbial door where opportunities can come by, knock and enter. A simple question to ask is: What motivates me at work? Where do I want to be in one year, in five years, in 10 years? What drives my professional ambitions? So if opportunities currently aren't present, you now have a door when opportunity comes knocking.
* Frame Your Achievements: Many people possess multiple degrees, certificates and achievements. We include these into our transcripts, CVs, resumes and office walls. That pride, sense of accomplishment and "chip on the old shoulder" will serve you well, if you continue to learn, grow, develop and contribute to your team, projects and culture of the organisation. Your leadership team will certainly notice and opportunities will shortly follow.
Fundamentality, you are in charge of your life, your actions, and more importantly, your career. Knowing your strengths, weaknesses and having a career blueprint in place will prepare you for new opportunities, both the hidden and the apparent ones. And when the "opportunity door" knocks, you will be there with a warm smile to welcome it in.