When Opportunity Knocks Where Are You?

Door of OpportunityEvery time opportunity knocks I am out back taking out the garbage. ~ Unknown

I saw this quote on a pin I have. I collect pins, although not as much as I did in my youth. Many of them have come to represent opportunities I have taken. Some are from opportunities I had to volunteer in special events or for a specific organization. Many are from opportunities I had to travel around the country and overseas. Others come from conferences or awards in organizations.  Some were given to me because I attended an expo or seminar.  Every opportunity I took represents an experience.

What opportunities have you had that have given you the experiences for where you are in your career? It is likely that these opportunities are because you committed yourself. Someone asked you to do something or referred you to someone. It might have been a small thing at the time. But small things add up to create bigger things.

We may not even be looking at some of the things we can do as opportunities. How often have you thought of volunteering as an obligation that you don’t have time for? There is a need in that organization you belong to for leadership. But you think to yourself that you are not a leader. You think to yourself that you don’t have time to put in all that extra work. And it doesn’t even pay. But as I look back at all the things I have done I realize that the first time I volunteered to be on a committee or as an officer of a club, I was given an opportunity. It was an opportunity to learn. It was an opportunity that developed into more opportunities for people to mentor and sponsor me.  It was an opportunity in various areas that I could grow as an individual and as a professional. It was an opportunity to meet new people, to network. It was an opportunity to lead. Indeed I recognize now that all the volunteering I have done has been essential in my leadership development.

I am interested in your thoughts about the quote above. When you read it, did you think that opportunity passes you by because you are not in the right place at the right time? Or could it be that opportunity passes you by because you make yourself unavailable? You could be trying to avoid opportunity by making yourself look busy. The truth is that if you really want opportunity, you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone, to take that first step. You might not even fully understand why you should take that first step. But it is an opportunity. Do you want to take it?

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