Opportunity Knocks – Will You Answer?

“Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat”.  (Napoleon Hill)

 When you suffer a misfortune or temporary defeat, specifically the loss of a job, you may not always see it as an opportunity.  And, having now officially been a member of the downsized workforce for 18 months, I can attest to the fact that at times it may be hard to recognize the opportunities.  But believe me – they do exist, and when I look back over the course of this past year and a-half I recognize the many opportunities that have been afforded me.

 First, I had the opportunity to take some classes that allowed me to increase my knowledge and develop skills that will make me more valuable to my next employer.   And, in case you aren’t aware of it, displaced workers are eligible to receive funding for education in high demand areas.  What an opportunity that is!  If you want to find out more about this opportunity, check with your state unemployment office.

 I’ve also had the opportunity to learn that some of the things I thought I absolutely had to have, I don’t really need.  I know that may not sound like a positive thing, but it is.  Learning to be content with what you have and where you are is something that lots of people who have oodles and oodles of material possessions never learn.  I know now that I can actually accept employment that may not pay the “big bucks”, but will be rewarding to me.  When you measure that against giving up gourmet coffee and the trendiest outfit, it seems like a fair trade-off.

 This leads me to the last opportunity I have been given since being unemployed, the opportunity to volunteer.  This has been one of the most rewarding things I have done.  This may not be the case for everyone, but because of my intrinsic desire to help others learn and grow it has been particularly rewarding for me.  I currently provide financial counseling for those in need, tutor in an adult literacy program, and provide birthday cakes for residents of a children’s home who would otherwise pretty much be ignored on their birthdays.  Doing these activities allows me to keep active and sharp, and has given me the opportunity to see how blessed I truly am, because I’ve come to recognize no matter what situation I’m in, I don’t have to look very far to see someone who is suffering true misfortune. 

I challenge you.  Look around – whatever situation you currently find yourself in – there’s an opportunity just around the corner waiting for you to seize it!