Sometimes we miss some of the biggest career opportunities in our lives simply because we don’t ask. There are hundreds of career possibilities in the world today, many which pass by on a daily basis, but you need to be attuned to them and grasp them when they come into view. Opportunity will come knocking, but you have to be there to answer the door.
Taking small risks
If you are a regular reader of this column, or my online weblog, you will already know that I recently returned from my first trip to Hawaii. My family and I went to visit a close friend of ours, Lorilyn, who moved to the island of Oahu about 2 years ago. This is her story. It shows what is possible if we only seek out and exploit the opportunities that come our way.
Previous to her move, Lorilyn had visited the islands several times within one year. She had friends there herself and found that she really enjoyed the environment and the people. After she returned from one trip with glowing accounts of her visit, I wondered aloud if she might try to move there someday. Here in Los Angeles, she was working for a national organization that assists the poor with pre-natal and early childhood nutrition and healthcare. It happened that this same organization also has branches in Hawaii. I jokingly told her that, when she was next visiting, she should stop by their office and see if they had any job openings. This is exactly what she did. Almost before we knew what was happening, she had had several phone interviews and had been offered a job. Then, in a matter of months, she had moved to the islands.
This is only one small story, but it shows the power that you have in your career. Sure, it is easier to make such a large change in your life when you are unencumbered by spouse or children, but I would challenge you to not let those issues stop you from investigating opportunities. There is no harm in checking them out and certainly no harm in asking some questions.
Start looking for opportunities
Are their opportunities in your life that you are ignoring? Many larger corporations today are national, if not international in scope. Would you like to live somewhere else? Would you like to try living in another country? Why not check with your human resources department today and see what opportunities might be available? What do you have to lose? Nothing, but you just might gain a wonderful new aspect to your career and your life. Even if you don’t want to move out of the country maybe you could move to the coasts, the Midwest, the north, the south, anywhere your company might have offices. More than likely you will find that these opportunities also provide you a chance to move up the corporate ladder, combining a new location with a new position and, possibly, a higher salary.
If you are a freelancer, consider places where you might be able to continue your craft or business that might provide a better standard of living or a better environment. After several visits to Sedona, Arizona and the surrounding area, I have investigated the possibility of moving my family and my business there. I am originally from New London, Ohio, a small farm community (pop. 2000) in north-central Ohio. As you might imagine, Los Angeles has been a significant culture shock over the last 20 years. Due to its tourism, Sedona provides many of the good aspects of a major city, while being surrounded by open ranch land and a National Forest. While I have not made any major decisions yet, it sits in the back of my mind as a possibility. Do you have a favorite location where you would like to live? Have you investigated the possibility of moving there? Why not? There could be an opportunity just waiting to be explored.
Don’t let opportunities pass you by just because they might seem far-fetched or even impossible. There is no penalty for investigating opportunities and yet you can gain great advantages both in your career and in your life. Let yourself dream on occasion. You might just find a new career in the islands of Hawaii or in your personal favorite destination.