Jobs And Careers - Training - Preparing To Meet Opportunity


Whether you dream big dreams or set big goals or little goals, opportunity often plays an important part in helping to get you there.  It can move you along, help you up the career ladder and get you across the barriers and pitfalls.

Many people long for opportunity, but are caught unprepared when it comes.  "I didn't expect it so soon,"  "I didn't even guess that I stood a chance,"  "I was in the wrong place,"  "I just wasn't ready,"  "I didn't realize what a big chance it was," or "I needed more time" are some of the frequently heard excuses.

Opportunity will leave those behind who cannot recognize it for what it is or who are faint hearted or unprepared when it comes calling.


Opportunity can appear in many different forms.  It may be that lucky break you were hoping for, a good career opening, the promotion that could make the difference, the big chance to prove yourself or the friendly voice on the phone asking for a meeting.


What could possibly go wrong with some of the potentially rewarding situations that opportunity bestows on us?  Opportunity can set the stage for success, but the central character casting, 'You', may be wrong because you simply have not prepared yourself for the big moment or your important debut or you may be afraid to step out into the limelight less you fail, get stage fright or fall short of the expectations that others have of you.  You may also simply not have the knowledge or experience to deal with the situation and end up a victim of what is known as the "Peter Principle," that is, promotion beyond your capacity.  The nightmare of all working people, to be lifted from a position in which you are competent and in control, happy and confident to one in which you are incompetent or under qualified error prone and defensive.

In order to avoid getting caught unprepared or finding yourself in a different situation or uncertainty when opportunity appears, you need to have some vision of the future.

That is, you need to be able to look at present circumstances and assess how they are evolving to shape future circumstances and events and to anticipate what new roles or opportunities may arise out of these changes for you.  It requires you to be aware of what is happening to you and around you on a continuous basis.

As an individual you are constantly growing, changing and evolving and as you gain more experience and are open to more choices, you attain different roles in life:  Student;  career person;  mother;  father;  husband;  wife;  community person, etc.

In your working life you become a member or organizations which are also constantly evolving and part of an important process of change and decision-making.

In a broader sense, you are also linked to a community or environment which is constantly changing socially, economically, etc.  In order to chart your own direction in these changes and rise to meet the challenge of new opportunities, you need to observe, assess and plan your own course.  This will require keeping abreast of current affairs, knowing what is taking place in your community, the world at large and in your working environment.

All of these provide strong clues or indications of events or situations to come.  You can detect early signs of success or failure, development or cutback, progress or regression.  You can pick up trends within your organization which could lead to new developments, new opportunities or career openings.  You can make logical predictions based on the facts you have at hand, without the need for a crystal ball or the power of clairvoyance.

Do not be deterred if you come up with some negative predictions.  It has often said that adverse conditions can sometimes create the greatest opportunities.


As you observe, tune in to what is happening around you and the implications and projections for the near future or distant future and ask yourself:

  • "What is this indicating - in what direction are things moving?"
  • "Am I ready?" 
  • "Do I have the right degree of flexibility to cope with change?" 
  • "Am I prepared for any opportunity which may arise?"
  • "What do I need to meet new opportunities with confidence and success?" 
  • "Do I need to upgrade my skills or acquire additional training?" 
  • "Will I need to shift my career focus to another field, and if so, what are the requirements?"
  • "What direction is my organization likely to take if conditions prevail?"
  • "What changes or roles may arise out of the changes?" 
  • "What must I do to equip myself to cope or deal with the challenges that arise?"This process of observing, assessing, thinking ahead, anticipating and projecting plans for the future will prepare you to meet opportunity with confidence and success.

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