I truly believe that the secret to a fulfilling career is planning and preparing, recognizing opportunities and then taking advantage of them.
Planning begins with self assessment and self discovery. For some people it begins with dreaming of possibilities or at least entertaining options. Becoming clear about options provides a goal or destination from which a road map can be charted and milestones along the way can be mapped out.
Preparing is about aligning resources and tools, whether it is resume preparation, engaging your network or creating an online presence. It is about assembling everything needed so that you are in a position of readiness. Being ready puts you in a position of control verses panicking or reacting when something happens. Once you are prepared and ready you can decided how to proceed on your own terms.
Recognizing opportunities means you have to stop being “heads down” and start paying attention to things happening around you in your job, your company, the local job market and business community. It also means being open to possibilities that present themselves.
Taking advantage of opportunities can seem risky and may require mustering up the courage to act. But it is those people that are able to do this that are the ones that find fulfilling work – sometimes in the oddest places.