Opportunity is the event that gives us a choice between current and new directions. When we face a certain opportunity we can choose to catch the new direction of events, or to continue with the old flow of events. The decision making can bring us benefits, but can also bring losses ( time, money, ... ).
So, every opportunity brings some risk. Opportunity gives us the possibility to make decision. Every decision or lack of decision brings a certain risk. How it looks in the real life?
Let’s take an example of the Jane, high school graduate. Jane is having the opportunity to go for college, since their parents provided her the fund for scholarship. If she decides to go for college she is facing the years of hard work and studying. Eventually, she will get the degree and can have a well paid job. Jane has the other option. She could decide not to go to college, but to get the job. She can use the fund given to her to buy the car and to travel.
Both options that are in front of have some benefits and drawbacks. If she chooses college, she could have the better future, since the better paid job can give her more opportunities later. But before having this benefits she need to study hard and she will not have much money for car, traveling and other spending. If she choose to skip the college and find a job and take the saving from her parents she could start "living" immediately, but on the long run she may have a less paid job.
Both options have the risks too. College seems to be a good future, but what if she does not finish the college, but just waste years and money. If she decides to work immediately, she could start earning earlier, maybe she could early recognize her entrepreneurship traits and start her own business. After all, there are many millionaires without the degree. But she could also be broke in a few years from now, being unhappy with a lousy, low paid job.
So, opportunities are something that requires deep understanding of consequential events that are interrelated. If we chose one direction, we may not be able to turn back. On the other side, if we do not choose offered direction, we may miss a good opportunity.
Opportunity assessment is the skill that can be developed. There are three important aspects for every individual that are need for understanding and taking advantage of opportunities:
Recognizing the opportunity. The opportunity may not always be so obvious. We must learn to recognize the opportunity. Time aspect is very important, since something that does not look like as opportunity now can give benefits in the future.
Assessing the opportunity. Quick decision or thinking too much can lead to wrong decision. Good look from different angles to every opportunity is necessary, but do not take too long time.
Making the right decision. It is necessary to make the decision to every opportunity. The worst decision is not having a decision.
Exploring opportunities means identification of opportunities in order to increase individual results while reducing the possibility of threats. In order to identify and leverage opportunities, every person needs to consistently identify what can be done better or differently to improve results by taking appropriate action.
If you want to use opportunity better you need to make a balance between detail orientated and instinctive decisions. Avoid shooting from the hip and paralysis of analysis. Both extremes can bring the wrong decision. Use your intuition and experience to supplement your analysis.
Don’t view each new problem, challenge or opportunity as a unique event. Rather, collect data, reflect on the situation and use your knowledge, skills and experience to explain the current situation you are facing. Develop new conceptual models to better understand the situation. Identify alternative ways to conceptualize and explain to others work situations for which you don’t have a ready solution. Try to identify patterns or connections between situations that are not obviously related to identify key themes or underlying issues in complex situations.
Try to develop new perspectives and innovative ideas into actionable opportunities. Act in response to changes in the external environment. Explore opportunities fully to understand its potential benefits and risks. Try to recognize patterns and trends. Opportunities will always be coming and going. It is like choosing between different trains that may take us to another place. We can choose some of many trains, or we can miss all trains. It is up to every person to recognize the right train and to embark to the trip to new opportunities.