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Posts Tagged ‘opportunity’

Creating Opportunity — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

January 7th, 2014 Comments off

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In this Year of Opportunity, one of your biggest goals should be create opportunity around you. It may sound odd, but yes, you have the ability to create your own opportunities through your own, direct actions. Creating opportunity requires some work your part, but the results should be more than worth it. Take some of that energy you have spent searching for a job and start searching for — and creating — your own opportunities this year.


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 Books by Douglas E. Welch
  
 

Know and become known

The most important part of creating opportunity is to know others and to make yourself known to others. Opportunities come from the people you know, both individually and as part of various groups. It only makes sense that the more people you know the more opportunities you will be exposed to. Too many of us cocoon ourselves away from the world, refusing to interact with others because we feel inadequate, unaccomplished or just plain scared. You must break out of this. You are a unique, capable, interesting individual and you deserve to know and interact with others and they you. Insecurity can trap you in a hole of your own making and actively prevent you from climbing out.

This week, I want you to take some direct action to re-connect and know others. Meet with a friend or family member. Find a new interesting meetup in your area, no matter what the topic, Give yourself permission to explore and re-engage with the world. After my own year of transition, I am having to do the same myself. Sometimes I have to nearly force myself out the door, but I always feel better for having made the effort. Even more, I always benefit from the effort in some way. Each new person I meet, each old friend I reconnect with, is another step towards creating new opportunities.

As well as knowing others, you must also seek to be known. You must share your expertise, your thoughts, your ideas, your feelings with those around you. Sharing develops deep connections with others as it often helps to solve a problem they might have. If you want to truly become a friend with someone, solve a problem for them. Nothing creates a deeper bond immediately and over time. Start blogging. Start sharing great tips and links on Facebook or wherever you prefer to spend your social media time. If you are a musician, find a place to play your music in public — for pay or not. If you are an architect, share your dream designs so that others can be inspired. If you are a caregiver, share your experiences so others can benefit and feel that they are not alone in their challenges. We all have something to share that can help those around us, if we only share it. Be known by your good deeds, your great information, your caring and your conversation.

Stop and consider your opportunities

Many times we let opportunities slip through our fingers without ever considering them opportunities at all. In this world of rush, rush, rush, it becomes even more important to stop and consider opportunities when they occur. If you don’t stop, other thoughts, other actions, other concerns will quickly push them aside and you will lose them.

The next time you think, “Hey, that’s a great idea!”, stop and write it down, note it on your smartphone, scribble it on a napkin, write it on your palm. Do whatever it takes to capture that idea for later consideration. Not every idea will turn into an opportunity, but a certain percentage will — a certain percentage that would have been lost had you not stopped to consider and capture it.

When you start doing this — capturing your ideas and thoughts, you will be amazed by two things. One, you will be amazed at how much information (and opportunity) you have been ignoring in your life and two, you will be amazed by how interesting your life can be, if you only take a moment to notice it. When you are struggling with challenges in your life and career, it can feel like nothing is important anymore. Capturing your ideas and thoughts can help to snap you out of the stupor you might find yourself in and get you back on the track to productivity.

It is a New Year and a new year requires new attitudes, new actions, new approaches to building the career you deserve. This is truly a Year of Opportunity (as every year really is) but we need to recognize that fact and put in some effort to make it the best year possible. Don’t let the past stop you from pursuing the future. Now get out there and start creating opportunity for yourself!

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Privacy and the need to sell yourself in your career — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

July 22nd, 2013 Comments off

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Privacy is in the news a lot these days and it is a valid concern for all of us. That said, when you are trying to build the career you deserve, an excessive focus on privacy can make your careerbuilding more difficult, if not impossible. This is due to a large change in how we find jobs and develop our careers. The days of resumes and job fairs and networking are over, at least in the traditional sense. Today, you need to be spending every moment telling people “what you do and how well you do it.” If you insist on keeping every aspect of your life private, you are severely limiting the number of people that know about you and the opportunities these people may be able to provide. When it comes to your career, you can’t “hide your light under a bushel” and expect to achieve the career results you want.


Books by Douglas E. Welch
  
 

Yes, the big world of the Internet can be a bit frightening sometimes, but you can, and should, engage in it in as many ways as possible. During our recent CareerCampSCV, I spoke with a number of attendees who were very concerned about keeping their social media activity private. For me, this has always seemed odd, as I believe that the main purpose behind social media is being seen, publicly, by those people who most interest you, are most interested in you and are most able to help you achieve your career goals. To keep everything private seems, for me, to defeat the entire purpose of social media.

That fact is, in today’s world, I believe you MUST be engaging in social media and you MUST be sharing “what you do and how well you do it” publically. The job world has changed dramatically and limiting your social media use is actively hampering your career. Who knows how many opportunities have never come to you simply because people don’t know the depth of your knowledge and skills. You can’t wait for job openings to be posted, printed in the newspaper or shared on a job board, You have to be positioning yourself to attract opportunities and social media is one great way of doing that.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you share EVERYTHING about your life on social media. Like any person who lives their life in public (celebrities, musicians, writers, etc) you need to actively pick and choose what you share. You need to develop your own public-facing persona much in the same way your favorite television or movie stars do. Does this sounds silly? It might, but it is also the new reality of your career.

Just as an actor must consider and cultivate their audience, so must you. We all have an audience, no matter what we do as a career. This is a new thought for most of us, but an important one. Gone are the days when you could survive in your career as a quiet little drone that toiled away in the background for 30 years. If you truly want to build the career you deserve, you need to be actively promoting yourself, positioning yourself, publicizing “what you do and how well you do it!”

What if you don’t want to live the public-facing life of an actor or celebrity? You are in trouble, because that is simply the way that life and career works these days. If you are not hustling to build your career then all you are left with is what other people offer you or what other careerists have decided they don’t want. You need to grow and adapt to this “new normal” or you risk having a career that is stunted and unfulfilling. I believe you deserve better, but it means you have to stretch yourself and your, perhaps outdated, understanding of how a career works.

Again, I am not saying that sharing your life and work publically is something you MIGHT want to do, I am saying that today it is a CRITICAL part of your job search and career. If I sound unequivocal, then you are understanding me correctly. The Internet has changed the world in many dramatic ways and it has deeply changed the way we approach a career.

If you want to build the career you deserve, you must engage in the world as it exists today and leave behind outdated concepts of job search, the nature of work and your career. The work world has moved on and unfortunately many of us have not followed. Don’t be trapped in century-old ideas about how you find a job. Use the amazing tools that are now at hand (and those yet to come in the future) to your best advantage. It is not in the past that you will find the career you deserve, but here in the present and out there in the future.

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