How To Create Opportunities

Rather than just waiting for them to happen

Stuck in a job you hate? Are you waiting for a great opportunity to come along that will catapult you into the new career you are dreaming about? 

You could be waiting for a while…



You may look around you and feel envious of the people who you think have been lucky with their career change.  They just seem to have fallen on their feet or perhaps they met someone who was able to give them a helping hand.

The reality is that luck doesn’t just happen.  Apparently lucky people do things that increase their chances of being lucky. Basically they work to create opportunities rather than waiting for them to land in their lap.

So if you want to be lucky you need to have a strategy, a game plan that will help you to create opportunities of your own and make progress towards your new career.

So where to begin?

Here are my top tips on how to create opportunities.


Top tips to help you create opportunities

Keeping in mind the process above, here is a quick list of the things you'll need to create your own opportunities.


Develop the right mind-set
You can create opportunities if you adopt the view that you are charge of your career. Don’t be a passive victim of the employment market, but constantly be on the look out for ways you can be in the driver’s seat of your career. Be willing to open your mind to wider possibilities than you have previously imagined. Don't be limited by your own fears.

Develop a niche or area of expertise
This does not have to mean getting a degree in astrophysics! It may simply be a matter of becoming the ‘go to person’ for some small aspect of your job.  Maybe you know a bit more about Excel than your colleagues.  Perhaps you are really good at dealing with really awkward customers. You could be great at presenting. 

If you are being really forward thinking, you might decide to develop a special interest in an area that is just emerging in your business – a new piece of technology a new approach to marketing, for example.  Then as an early adopter you can be at the forefront and have an advantage over those who follow behind trends.

Go public with your expertise
If you are becoming expert in a particular area, don’t be shy about it! Let people know that this is something you can do.  Write articles, teach and train people informally or offer to do so formally if you can.  Join an online forum and share your knowledge there.  Write a blog about it.

Work at deepening your knowledge and sharing it with the world. If you do this effectively, you will get noticed among the people who matter in your field. You are in a much better position to create opportunities for yourself if you are no longer one of the many, but one of the few.

Know yourself
It is not enough to have your specialist area of knowledge.  You need to know yourself well too.  Understand your values, skills, strengths, interests and personal style. At the end of the day you want to create opportunities that will work for you as a person.

Show initiative and determination
Don’t wait in the wings.  Take the lead and be ready to be visible.  This means you need to acquire skills of self-promotion. But remember this is not about being in everyone’s face.  Self promotion has to be done gently and gradually. It needs to be built on building relationships first and creating opportunities second.

Build your network
You can’t expect to do it all alone.  You need people who will support and encourage and yes, networking can help you find people like that.  If you approach networking thinking 'what can I get out of this' you are starting off on the wrong foot.  Think first of how you can create opportunities for others

Cultivate resilience
You are unlikely to find the perfect opportunity falling in your lap within a day or two of starting your new approach and you may face situations where things have not worked out as well as you had hoped.  This is where resilience comes in.  Make a commitment to yourself that you will keep going, that you will not abandon your intention of taking control and creating opportunities for yourself.

Approach it all with a spirit of adventure

Well if you can’t have fun on the journey, what’s the point? I often encourage my clients to allow themselves to be playful as they start their career change journey.  It is when you step into that open, free-flowing space that is called play that you are most likely to have great ideas, meet inspiring new people and create opportunities for yourself.  

A recent ‘Message from The Universe’ summed it up nicely

"Always, Cherry, it's the one with a certain and definite dream, who boldly steps into the uncertain and indefinite, who goes the farthest and throws the best after-parties."

(Not familiar with Notes from The Universe?  They are great fun and I recommend you sign up to get them in your inbox right now. Here’s the link http://www.tut.com/)



What do you think?

  • Do you create opportunities or just wait for them?
  • Have you got a plan or a strategy in place to help you to create more opportunities?
  • Are you ready to step into the uncertain and indefinite to see what opportunities emerge?


Over to you

I'd love to hear your thoughts about what you just read! Do share in the comment box below.

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From The 5 Minute Career Coach June 2014

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