Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. But what happens when you have put time and effort into building technical skills, developing a personal brand, and growing networks, and you still don’t see the opportunities you need to propel your career forward? You may have expected opportunity, as discussed in Tip #10, and tried to recognize opportunities as described in Career Tip #15, and still not experienced any career-enhancing opportunities. This can, indeed, be frustrating. If this sounds like you, then it’s time for you to create your own opportunities. Take a proactive stance and do something to create career-enhancing opportunities.

Begin by asking yourself questions such as: What are some of the unrecognized or unmet needs in my organization, and how can I help meet these needs? What revenue opportunities can I identify or create for my organization, and how can I help my organization capitalize on them? How can processes or products be improved, and what can I do to help make these improvements? Who are the key people in my organization, and how can I make their jobs easier? What are my unique skills or talents, and how can I use them to help my organization? Notice the two levels of these questions: WHAT would benefit my organization and HOW can I provide or contribute to that benefit? Once you identify opportunities, think about the best possible outcome and what you need to be successful, as well as any potential downside and how you can mitigate it. Decide whether to pursue this opportunity as you move toward creating the career you want.

More information on this tip, and others, can be found in Lead Your Way: Practical Coaching Advice for Creating the Career You Want