Added On: Sunday, November 04, 2007

The world is filled with opportunity

A few years back, I was doing some computer contracting for one of the biggest banks in the world. One day, an email was sent around by management requesting the entire information technology department attend a meeting in the conference room. We all turned up to be told we were being made redundant. It seemed they wanted to run the Asia-Pacific IT entirely from Singapore.

Many of the people there had been working for that company for five years or more. They were devastated. They couldn't imagine there would be another opportunity like that for them. They felt that without the bank to employ them, they'd have no career.

They were wrong.

Within a month I had another job with a government department. It was better paid, more interesting, and more fun. Being made redundant by the bank was a minor glitch for me, not a major catastrophe.

I'm no different to the other people who were called to the conference room that day. I'm no smarter, better looking or more qualified. What I am, is better organized at taking advantage of career opportunities. I figured out long ago that the world is full of such opportunities, you just have to be willing to put in the hard yards in order to take advantage of them.

If you let yourself get into a position where losing one job is going to ruin your life, then you have no-one to blame but yourself when it happens. Job opportunities are everywhere, but you have to go through the initial difficulties of learning how to find them.

Okay, onto another example.

I've known a lot of people who get hung up on one potential romantic partner who's obviously not that into them. I'm sure you do too. In fact, almost all of us have been in this situation before ourselves.

How does it happen? Why do we let ourselves get into such an unsatisfactory circumstance?

I think the mental process boils down to this one simple belief: "This person has shown some interest in me. I'll never find anyone else as good as them".

Generally, I think this belief is absolute baloney. If you can pique one person's romantic interest, you can surely do it with someone else. Attracting people is a learned skill, just as career development is. If you're willing to put in the hard yards to learn the ropes, you'll figure out that you can fill your life with eligible people. It involves work, but it's not an impossible task by any means.

Getting hung up on one person who isn't willing to move forward is for suckers. Just as thinking your life is over simply because you lost a job is.

The world is filled with opportunities, but you have to learn how to take advantage of them. In almost every arena, the difference between the winners and the losers comes down to hard work and practice. Succeeding in career, business, love or friendship is generally a learned skill. Like learning to play darts, you're unlikely to be brilliant at it straight away. It takes practice and the humility to get through the early difficult days.

Be willing to do the work to fill your life with opportunity. It's well worth it, believe me.

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