Have you ever had an opportunity present itself that you’ve declined; and afterwards thought “Man, I really wish I would have done that”.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about opportunities lately – and had some lessons recently come my way.
The first is an opportunity taken. I work in a shared space with two really fantastic gentlemen. We all get along extremely well, and for the most part discuss and share almost everything work related with one another. I had mentioned in my last blog that a year ago I had to take some time off of work; well – both of these guys knew what was going on in my life, and subsequently have become like protective brothers. What I mean is, when a project comes up, or some travel for work is required and it’s outside of Edmonton – these two have already responded that they’re taking the lead or the event before I’ve even had a chance to read the email. They do this because they care about me, and it stems from the fact that they do not want me to be stressed out. I’ve really appreciated the care and concern that my work family has shown me – but, the other day I started to feel like I was falling behind. I realized that there had been so many projects, so many missed opportunities that my skill set was starting to suffer because of it. I really believe in continual growth and succession planning – and, how am I going to successfully succession plan my career goals if I do not continue to grow? So – as per one of my requirements I took an opportunity to lead a fairly large project. When I say took, I really mean took. I went to my colleague who had claimed first lead and told him that I thought it was time that I took the drivers seat.
I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been challenging. There has been a large public speaking component to this project – along with timelines, multi-team coordination etc. It’s been a lot of work, and not all of it perfect. It feels so great though that I pushed for the opportunity and because of that I have grown, and continue to move towards my career aspirations.
The second is an opportunity missed.
Last Thursday night at the IHC training class we were all practicing our forms and then someone yelled out “who wants to practice the Dragon”! I really wanted too – but, all of those old insecurities and the shyness about not really knowing what I’m doing got in the way and I said nothing. So the barrier cones were set up so that the people practicing their forms were on one side and the dragon dancers were on the other. Since I was the only person doing a form inside the kwoon at that time, I was all by myself, and it made me feel really upset with myself for missing the opportunity to practice and learn the dragon dance. Opportunity missed.
My point is, that although “the opportunity”, might seem impossible, difficult, scary or whatever – it may only come around once. You won’t know if you might be good at something, or if something might fill a space that you didn’t know was empty until you try. We are not always going to have success within our opportunities, but I think that there is a certain level of success in just trying.
I for one am planning on taking more opportunities moving forward to place myself outside of my comfort zone. Ultimately, you never know when it might be your time to shine.