Hi, and welcome to the Leadership Done Right YouTube Channel. Each day you probably have a new opportunity that comes your way. Would you like to participate in this committee? Can you be on the board for this organization? Would you be willing to accept this job? Will you move here? Can you please assist me with this? Can you attend this networking opportunity? This will be a great OPPORTUNITY for you…
The list of opportunities goes on. In a world filled with opportunities, it is very important to identify which opportunities are ones worth pursuing and which ones are not.
How to identify if the opportunity is right for you
In Michael Hyatt’s blog post, Is It an Obstacle or an Opportunity?, he said, “If you want to improve the quality of your life or business, planning is essential. You have to be honest about your current reality, envision a better future, and then create a roadmap for getting from one to the other.”
So how do you know if an opportunity is right for you? I use the following five questions on a regular basis to identify if an opportunity is right for me. These questions will help you as you look at each opportunity that comes your way.
1. What is the opportunity?
Before deciding whether or not to accept an opportunity, it is very important to know exactly what the opportunity will be. Is the opportunity part of your regular work requirements? Will you be doing something directly in line with your career goals? Will it be a something you have never worked on before? What is the opportunity and why will it be good for you?
It is important to gain a full understanding of what you are getting yourself into before you move forward. To do that you need to know the scope of the opportunity and how it relates to you.
2. Will the opportunity further your goals?
This question is crucial in deciding whether or not to accept an opportunity. Many times people will define something as an opportunity when it truly isn’t one.
Ask yourself, “Is the “opportunity” in line with your career goals? Will this opportunity help you reach your 5, 10, and 15 year goals?” If the opportunity causes you to deviate from your goals, be sure to review it very carefully. It may take you in a new direction that is better than what you imagined, or it could take you way off your path and not be worth pursuing.
3. Is the opportunity worth the cost?
With each opportunity comes a cost. You must give up something to move forward with the opportunity. That something may be your time, money, effort, or something else altogether. Remember, there is always a cost or trade-off for each new opportunity.
Nothing comes without a price. Prior to pursuing an opportunity, identify the cost. You don’t want to be negatively surprised once you move forward on a new opportunity, especially if it had a high cost.
For example, I’ve seen many people that switched from one company or job to another because they were seeking something better or a higher salary. Once they got the new job, they realized the costs in the form of time with their family, lower job satisfaction, a new living location, more responsibility and/or stress, or less freedom over their time. Several of my friends that went through this experience later told me that they regretted jumping into the new “opportunity” because it actually set them back and took them off their intended course.
Now there are some opportunities that are definitely worth the cost, but be certain that you explore all the costs before jumping in.
Opportunities are only opportunities if what you are giving up is less valuable than what you are receiving in return. So, what are you receiving from an opportunity? What benefit is the opportunity?
Each opportunity has the potential to bring a wide range of benefits and challenges, so it is important to identify what they are before you move forward.
5. Is the opportunity right for you at this time?
As the saying goes, “Timing is everything.” When opportunities come at the right time, they have a huge positive impact on our lives, but they can actually set us back if the timing is not right. As a leader, it is essential that you identify what the right timing is for you.
For example, leaders are often tapped for committees, programs, projects and other team activities. When they have the time to fully participate, they can be a huge asset for the committee, program, or other activity. If they accept the opportunity, but don’t have the time to participate, on the other hand, they can actually be a detriment to the group by slowing progress. I’ve experienced both of these situations before. When you are the team leader and can’t fully participate it is very frustrating. It is also frustrating when you are on the team and the leader doesn’t fully participate. Neither the team nor the leader feel good in these situations.
It can be easy to think that something should happen right now, but it may not be the right timing. At the same time, if a great opportunity comes along but you are not ready for it, it’s probably okay to decline for now so you can become more prepared for it in the future.
It is important to understand, however, that for many opportunities there is no “PERFECT” time. Sometimes you need to seize the opportunity even if the timing isn’t perfect. When the opportunity comes it may not be what you would call the “ideal time,” but if it is a timing that you can live with, jump on the opportunity if it fits the other mentioned criterion.
Timing is very important and can make a significant difference in the eventual outcome.
In summary, when thinking about opportunities, an opportunity will only be an opportunity if the mentioned conditions work to your favor. The opportunity must truly be an opportunity for you and help you further your goals. Also, the benefits should outweigh the costs.
I’d like to finish off with a few viewer questions. How do you determine if an opportunity is right for you? What questions do you ask? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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