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Career Corner
How to Identify and Choose the Best Career Opportunities

Cecile Peterkin -- It's said that success is where preparation and opportunity meet. Here's what to keep in mind so that you can recognize the sound of opportunity knocking, as well as what steps to take if you don't want to wait for it to find you.

Motivational speakers always say that you can find everywhere many opportunities to make a career out of something that you love. Do you think this is true? If you have been struggling to get at least a decent job or a chance to obtain career advancement, it may be very hard for you to believe this. But while it is true that career opportunities are hard to find, there is a deliberate and thoughtful approach you can use so you can succeed in your search.

1. Develop the right frame of mind

Always think that opportunities are just around you waiting for you to notice them. What’s important is that you develop a habit of looking for those opportunities every single day. Whenever you think of a possible career to pursue, take note of it so you may collect as many potential career undertakings as possible. The more options you’ve got, the better your chances are of finally landing a career you will enjoy.

2. Be active in seeking opportunities

You can’t relax and wait for opportunities to come your way. It is essential that you know how to look for those hidden career opportunities out there. We are talking about those available positions that are not advertised, as well as the projects that you think your current organization needs. If you are employed, be conscious of the future plans of your organization. Perhaps there will be vacancies in the near future, or even plans for expansion. Always think about the possibilities of you getting a higher position within your organization.

3. Know your own strengths and weaknesses

As you go on with your search for career opportunities, you should also develop a better understanding of what your strong and weak points are. By learning about your own capabilities and limitations, you will be in a better position to pick the opportunities that will fit you. And after identifying your weaknesses and strengths, you should think of a way to take advantage of your strengths to build a lasting career later on.

4. Consider what other factors matter to you

There are several factors in your personal life that may also affect your career decisions, thus you should also take time to understand these factors so that you could choose the most appropriate opportunities for you. This is true particularly for those who have families and children who will be directly affected by any career decisions they make.

5. Narrow down your options

Once you have determined your strengths, weaknesses, potential, and opportunities, you will be better able to decide what career pathways to pursue. Thus, take the time to look at your choices and imagine yourself and your life having each and one of those careers.

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Center, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe..

© 2014 Cecile Peterkin

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