What Should you do when Opportunity Knocks?

Less than a year ago, I was laid off from what had turned into a dead end job. I once thought I would help create a whole department for the company, but the funding and attention wasn’t there. Eventually, the funding wasn’t even there for me. I found a new job in less than a year and again, I had the same dreams. Finally, here was a place in which I could grow a whole marketing team. Unfortunately, this job came with its own instability. Unlike the previous position, it directly threatened me and no one else. Loving the job, not wanting to leave, I put my name out there just in case. Then, opportunity came knocking.

I have never been one to refuse an opportunity. Always, I have embraced the idea that chasing dreams is the best way to live. Knowing what makes you happy, what you want and then going for those things is always best. So, when my name snagged an opportunity, an opportunity that came with co-workers I already knew, a significantly higher salary, a shorter commute, greater control over my projects, the absence of toxic people AND the distant hope that I could help build a marketing team, how could I say no?

By the time you read this, I will be employed by that opportunity. A part of me wonders what my old coworkers think. Was it for the money? Was it loyalty? Was something too strict or someone too mean?

The truth is none of those things. The truth is that I came upon an opportunity I couldn’t refuse, that offered me the chance to spread my wings further and advance in my career. You always take a chance when changing jobs, but I felt this was a chance I had to take. In a way, the option to stay included larger risks. Would my intuition be right and the instability land me where I was a year ago? Would my salary remain the same even as the department grew? Would traffic get worse and worse on the highway? Would I ever be able to do anything without fighting a battle?

I once heard millennials are less loyal than before. They say my generation will have five different careers in their lifetime – not just jobs, whole careers! The days where a person worked at a company for decades, until the day they retire, are gone. Until this very moment, I thought myself the opposite. I would love to work at the same company for decades. That’s still true, but I also know what I want. I answer opportunity with a courageous “yes!” I do all this, in the hopes that I will find that job I can settle into. And by settle, I mean the job where I can grow my career, taking me to greater and greater heights.

You could say I’ve always been this ambitious. I’ve worried I’m too ambitious and then quickly been told never to lose this quality. Indeed, my ambition is what allows me to chase down every crazy idea that comes into my head and to try new things. Is it even possible to be too ambitious?

I’m sure Icarus knows the answer to that question all too well.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little afraid of melting my wings, yet, I’ve felt this way about every change in life. In the end, I say you should always go for every opportunity that knocks so long as it is truly an opportunity. Make sure everything feels right, consider where you are and where an alleged opportunity will take you. If all signs say go, grab the bull by the horns! Life waits for no one and dreams are only achieved when you’re willing to take a chance.

Have you ever taken an opportunity despite fears or worries? How did that work out for you? When it comes to your career, what would you do if another company offered to hire you in a position with more responsibility and with a higher salary? Would you take the chance?

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10 thoughts on “What Should you do when Opportunity Knocks?”

  1. I’m going to find something more challenging again. I hate routine and predictability. It should nature to want new roles and responsibility. To grow. 🙂

  2. I’m not understanding why millennials are accused of being “less loyal” when it is companies who routinely began laying off the ‘older, more established’ work force, and stopped hiring from within, in an effort to reduce costs and line their pockets with more profit. Companies breed the culture in which job hoping was the only way to advance your career. I’m Gen X and it was a pipe dream for us to find companies / jobs we could settle into – I was laid off three times in ten years. smh. I learned it was more important to just keep rolling over my retirement money from job to job so that no matter where I ended up or how long I’d worked for this or that company, by the time I was no longer able to find a job (’cause let’s face it, my age will determine when I ‘retire’ long before my lack of ability to work will), I’ll still have some money coming in from a retirement fund of some sort.

    Oh, and Congrats on the new opportunity! :-). I do hope it delivers some joy, growth, and peace of mind.

  3. I certainly hope this opportunity brings you much happiness and you feel settled at least for awhile. My step-father worked for a local newspaper here in Saint Louis for over 20 years of his life, until his company downsized. Papers are going digital more and more and his particular position was phased out. The problem with this is now he was a middle aged man with having only two jobs ever, the last a career in a (seemingly) fairly lucrative position for someone with no college education and no real training in technology. I had tried for the better part of the last 15 years to train my parents in our growing technological world. To explain the importance of computers…but they were resistant. That was until my stepfather discovered that his new position of unemployed meant filling out a plethora of online job applications and there were no other newspapers hiring for the position he once held. I will say that now both of my parents are actively using a computer and smartphones…which is wonderful. The good news is that my stepfather found a job as a security officer…a position that years ago I am sure he never would have seen himself in since it is a far cry from sitting behind a desk managing other employees. It was also a pay cut, but he seems happy enough. Oh the roads life leads us sometimes….what a journey.

  4. As someone who also lost a job they thought they’d be at for a long time and then got laid off, only to find an infinitely better job, I can empathize.

    I still say it’s not about being disloyal… it’s about being prepared for anything coming your way. You have to protect yourself, and those you provide for. I’ve got the best job ever right now, but I’m going back to school for computer science. That way, I’ll be ready and flexible for the next curveball life throws.

  5. Great topic! Similarly as a millennial I understand all your questions and struggles. I think that you have to take new opportunities and and change your career or the company you work for to find what really works for you. I think our generation is more concerned with “loving” their job, (like we’ve been told to do so many times) that you have to move around to find the right spot.

    I think it’s important to always take a chance. I personally took the same position at different company and I now love a job that I highly disliked elsewhere. Congrats on the new position and good luck!

  6. Congratulations on the new opportunity!

    I think we evolve as people over time. Our life experiences, our skills, our needs all develop and change and grow. It is ridiculous to think that we might not outgrow a previous opportunity or require a new challenge.

    When my husband was looking for a career in America, so that we could emigrate, he was told that one of the things that might hold him back was that he had been with the same employer for ten years. It did not matter that he had previously worked for other employers or that he had actually worked in different roles under the umbrella of the one employer. It was seen as stasis and not as a positive. It was not seen as loyalty, commitment or stability but as stagnation. I think there might be a slight cultural difference there between the UK and US but I think also it is a generational thing. The idea of a “job for life” is now redundant. In the end, my husband basically created his own job opportunity by contacting a company who were not advertising a vacancy but who he knew to be looking to expand into an area he is experienced in. So I would say that opportunities can come knocking or you can go knocking on opportunity’s door too.

  7. Yep. I left my great job where I had been on it for 18 months and had just gotten a 4.5% merit to go to another job. My marriage had just ended and I was now making my first move as a single parent. It was scary as heck, but I knew that it was for a better opportunity. I always look at my career moves for what is in the best interest of me and my son. Salary, benefits and job responsibilities are part of it. I also need to understand company culture, departmental practices, etc to see if it would be a good fit.

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