(Plan Your Career) Three steps to making your own opportunities

For the past seven years, CPA Trigg has successfully managed a Christian rock band.  He says he got started with the band because the opportunity came up and he jumped on it.  Many people who are satisfied career-wise will tell the same story, but a deeper look reveals that most opportunities do not appear out of nowhere.  Opportunities are usually a culmination of options, access and knowledge.

Seven years ago, Trigg was miserable in his high-pressure, big firm accounting position.  His options were to stay with his company or move on to something else.  Some colleagues had left for smaller companies, but that was not enough change for Trigg.  Others had left accounting altogether. 

Outside of accounting and business management, Trigg’s only real passion was music.  Could these diverse interests be married?  The entertainment industry felt like a good option.  Go beyond the obvious and brainstorm your options.  What’s out there for you?  More than you realize, no doubt.

Determined to learn more about the music industry, Trigg called a few people he knew were connected to it.  He had access through a college friend, who introduced him to a few others.  What access do you have?  Lean on your network to learn more about your options; you might already be connected to the right insiders.

When opportunity knocks, will you have the knowledge and skills you need to take advantage of it?  Trigg was an expert in accounting and business management.  He learned through his connections that to manage a band he had to develop his skills in promotion, scheduling, and marketing.  When an industry insider mentioned that his band needed a manager, Trigg had the knowledge he needed to be successful.

Don’t wait to be led by others.  Gain long term success through opportunities you create for yourself by knowing your options, building your access network, and continuing to learn new skills. 

Send your career planning questions to

July 16, 2009
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