By Caroline Smith and the Mind Tools Team
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Identifying Career Opportunities

Setting Yourself Up for Success

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Set yourself up for success.

"There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there's only scarcity of resolve to make it happen." – Wayne Dyer, author and motivational speaker

How does this quote sound to you? If you've ever struggled to find a job, or have missed out on an opportunity to advance your career, this may not quite "ring true."

However, while opportunities can be hard to spot, you can find them if you use a thoughtful and deliberate approach. In this article, we'll look at how you can do this

Getting Ahead

If you want to change roles or get ahead in your career, it's important that you know how to identify and pursue opportunities that are a good match for your interests, skills, and circumstances.

This takes time. You can think of the process of finding opportunities as a journey that will eventually lead you to an exciting but unknown destination. You need to be patient, and persist in your efforts.

That said, work that you put in now will pay off in the future. Not only will you end up in a role that's right for you, but you'll have a good understanding of your options. What's more, people will think of you when new openings come up, and you won't waste time pursuing the wrong opportunities.

You'll also have a better understanding of where you need to build new skills – and develop existing ones – to be successful in your career.

Discovering Opportunities

Let's look at a process for identifying career opportunities, and for choosing the best opportunities to pursue.

1. Have the Right Mindset

Opportunities are all around you, all of the time. (We'll look at where they are later!) So you need to be continually watching out for them.

Get into the habit of looking for possible opportunities every day. Keep a notebook with you, or use a smartphone app like Evernote to note down opportunities when you think of them.

Write down as many possible opportunities as you can – you can trim your list back to the most relevant opportunities later on.

2. Seek Opportunities

You also need to make an effort to seek out "hidden" opportunities. These are opportunities like job openings that aren't advertised, and projects that you can initiate because you have spotted an unfulfilled need within your organization or industry.

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