We all have a responsibility to prepare ourselves for that time when luck will meet opportunity. There will come a day when you could find yourself in a privileged position for promotion. You’ll have an opportunity to leap frog a few steps forward and start earning more, taking on more responsibility, commanding more influence and/or playing on a larger stage. This will likely not happen without any investment on your part though. Yes, the opportunity may come regardless, but if you have not invested time, effort and hours into building yourself you will not be able to capitalize on your own luck. You see, the magic of luck happens when opportunity meets preparedness.
We do not know when luck will knock. We do not know when opportunity will visit. It sometimes comes when we least expect it. It sometimes arrives when we’ve got our feet up and our work hat hung up on the wall. Other times it comes when we are juggling multiple roles and responsibilities. The fact of the matter is it always comes – not always with a prior announcement and not always at a convenient time. Our duty is to prepare for it. To be ready to welcome it. To be prepared to look it square in the eye and tackle it. If luck and opportunity present themselves and we are prepared, then we can make magic and our prayers of more can be answered.
Have you gone through a period of professional stagnancy? Perhaps things had not gone as planned and you were not progressing at the pace you wanted to. So you had spent the better part of the year praying for a chance and a change. Hoping for that call or email that would change your life and propel you forward to where you know you need and deserve to be. What about if the day the phone rings you found yourself wanting – unable to perform that which was requested for your to seize the opportunity? Worse would be if the person thought of you because the task or job was within the field you worked in, yet when they got you on the other end of the line you had to turn it down because you were not quite qualified (when you could have been with a little more concerted time, investment and effort)? What then?
How we wait is important. What we do while we hope and pray is critical. We cannot sit still expecting a change without strengthening our skills, building our capacity and growing our knowledge – it will not work. What you have done in the past soon becomes outdated. Without using it we often lose it. Without stretching ourselves our muscles and intelligence soon begin to atrophy. You cannot rely on past accolades to access future opportunities and build more recent successes. Be ready. Stay ready. Redefine ready. And encourage those you care about to do so too.
There are amazing stories of people who received phone calls that changed their life. If you are not ready to pick up the call and accept the challenge all you will do is disappoint yourself and waste an opportunity. There is no guarantee of the frequency of these life-changing calls, but there is a guarantee that if you stay prepared when it arises you can leverage it and propel forward.
Even when things are slow always keep an eye on where you want to go, then take steps in that direction. Read towards it, practice towards it, study towards it. If you want to be discovered as the next great – maybe a Modupeola Fadugba or Van Gogh you have to keep painting and perfecting your craft. If you want to be discovered as the next Shakespeare you have to keep writing. Whatever it is you aspire to do, do what you need to do to ensure you qualify.
In the real word, phone calls of opportunity often come with a request to prove yourself. No matter the good intentions of the person a few things are quite standard. They ask for your CV and a sample of your work (be it a portfolio, a headshot, a synopsis of your work, tasting samples for chefs, etc.). Why? Because many believe that past performance is the best predictor of future behavior. And when the pressure mounts as it often does at higher levels, the fact that you have successfully learned and exhibited the skills and behaviors needed to operate at this level will be both a comfort to those taking a chance on you and a confidence for you as you implement what you’ve previously learned/done.
Even if you have not yet had a chance to lead at that which you aspire to – volunteer to take on similar responsibilities at your own place of performance, read up on the subject matter, watch educational videos, teach yourself, practice and perfect it so that when opportunity calls you will get lucky by being prepared to answer. Prepare as best you can for the future you are praying for, and I wish you all the luck in the world when that opportunity encounters your preparedness. May you answer the call with confidence. Send across your credentials with certainty. Receive a positive response speedily. And continue to learn, grow and glow as you are promoted to your next level.