Give yourself ten years to watcl! for and capitalize on all types of During this time your goal stitiwidhlakt the greater chance you have of succeeding. Contrary many people believe, you don't have to follow a narrow career path to reach the top. Your career may hinge on volunteering for a task no one else wants to do or taking a job at a smaller company for less money. Your unexpected opportunity may involve playing golf with someone, forming a friendship with that person, and re-ceiving a terrific job offer from his company five years later. You never know where your unexpected opportunities will emerge, so it's key to keep an open mind and not rule potential opportunities out because they don't fit a narrow definition of opportunity. You never know which contact you make, knowledge you acquire, or skill you master will be critical for job success. When you look around and see people your age making a lot more money than you, repeat the following to yourself:
It's not where you begin, but where you end up.
Finally, to take full advantage of unexpected opportunities, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I thinking about opportunities in the broadest possible way? Am I making sure I don't rule out chances to learn and grow just because they aren't traditional opportunities?
- When I receive a job offer, am I considering more than the money or prestige of the company or job title before making my decision? Am I looking at bow the job will help me become more marketable? If I were offered a job with a smaller company for less money but with a chance to learn a new key skill, would I take it?
- Am I alert for opportunities? Am I regularly looking for chances to develop my skills, contacts, and knowledge through work assignments, charitable projects, academic classes, training programs, jobs with other companies, and other ways?
- Would I be willing to take on an assignment or job even if I felt I lacked the knowledge and skills I needed to do it well right from the start?
- Do I consider whether an opportunity based on my strengths or whether I should avoid it because of my weaknesses? Do I evaluate it based on whether it will help me achieve long-range career goals or just from a short-term e another? standpoint? Do I rely on my instinct to tell me if I should reject opportunity and pursue another?
Use these questions as a continuous litmus test for opportuni-st and you will likely make good decisions when these types of opportunities unexpectedly arise.