When Life Seem to Deny You Opportunities
If you are a young person today and it seems to you that you are equipped, loaded and prepared for a seat at the table with the big guys (say, get a certain job, contract, privilege or platform), but seem to be cut off from it, this week’s Youth Cruise is for you. In this post, I want to show you what to do now that you seem ready; but lack opportunities to give expression to your skills, knowledge and expertise.
Often, when people find themselves in situations where they feel equipped but trapped, they get angry, irritable, blame people and systems or even give up on their goals. Unfortunately, none of these improves their chances of getting what they really want in life.
So, the first point I want to make is that when life seems to shut you out of opportunities, you should not waste your energy hating on those who seem to deny you a chance. It’s possible that there are better-qualified candidates and not that they hate you, your tribe, religion or state.
Also, don’t be angry with the supposedly unqualified who got such opportunities you feel you deserve due to favouritism. Such people hardly rise very high because they often don’t have the substance required to be increasingly relevant in such places.
Moreover, the best they can do is take the place you think is yours now; nobody can actually take your real place in life. In due time life brings you to your place which may even be far better than the place you are looking at now.
You may have been shut out of opportunities because of corruption, ethnicity and religious bias in our system; but don’t spend your time and energy complaining about a system you really can’t change. It’s a waste of your time, energy and an exercise that can get you so worked up that you can’t see new opportunities as they evolve.
So, what do you do before your opportunity comes? First….
Keep Developing Capacity!
While you look forward to the day that your time will come, focus on developing capacity for the opportunity you are really looking forward to. Your key to getting a seat at the table with the big guys is the value you can deliver not just your desires.
So, increase the worth of the value you can deliver by sharpening your skills, acquiring ancillary skills and increasing your depth of knowledge to strengthen your expertise.
No matter how good you are now, know that you can be better and that largely comes from learning. So, take advantage of the free time you have now without any opportunities yet and invest it on improving yourself. Pay if need be or use free materials online to learn. Don’t turn down any chance you get to practice because every opportunity to put your skills to use is a chance to improve on your output; hence your earning power.
Patiently Wait for Your Opportunities
Many people are so impatient to wait and develop more capacity and that becomes their undoing. Your ability to settle down and develop capacity is hinged on being disciplined enough to patiently wait for your time. I believe everyone has their time and that time is not often based on your calculations; but when you are due for the next phase.
So, while you are at this point, zero your mind that once you develop strong enough capacity for a change of level events will just turn around for your good. God designed life to favourably respond to you once you are ready. Let this understanding make you patiently wait and develop capacity. Even when you feel you are qualified, set a new goal to become overqualified.
Do Small Jobs Big!
Even before the big opportunity comes, you will get small ones. Don’t take it for granted. Small opportunities are doors to the big ones. Do a small job the big way. That’s how to qualify for the big ones.
The Bible says that it’s one who proves faithful in little that will be given bigger opportunities. So, take every chance you get to do any job as your window to the bigger one; knowing full well that God, who is the true elevator, is watching and those in authority may not be blind to the value you bring to the table.
Even when the pay is peanut, do it big as an expression of who you are not how much you earn. When people want to access your work, they often to check how much you were paid; they only care about what you did and how well you did it. So, when you get any work to do, target on delivery that will bring you good name; not just making money.
I don’t want to bore you with my personal stories but, it will suffice to let you know that the skill that pays me the most is website design; but when I started, I couldn’t even charge my clients. I worked almost FREE.
They only paid for their domain name and hosting and “whatever you feel like” and it was OK then because I got paid to refine my skills. I continued to work like that until I got to the point where I started getting referrals and that was when I started earning reasonable money from website design.
So, you may not have gotten the opportunity you desire because, even though you are good, nobody can see the proof of your goodness. The small opportunities life presents to you is your chance to prove that you are good and deserve a better place at the table. Maximize it!
Don’t Give Up….Yet!
In your quest for a big opportunity, you will get many rejections. You will also make plans and put in efforts without succeeding, but don’t stop pushing. If things were as easy as you are expected; everyone would have gotten what you are pursuing. What will distinguish you from others that merely desire it is your ability to stay on tenaciously pursuing your goal.
Please don’t give up on your pursuit because of lack of or denied opportunities. Things don’t always work the way we want or planned them at first. When a plan didn’t work out, tweak it and try again. When you get denied a chance, try another one. But give up? Mbanu!
You may have been denied the opportunity you seek because you don’t really qualify. Like I told you earlier, keep developing capacity and as you improve by the day, go back and try something you couldn’t do before; knock on doors that were shut against you in the past.
You may have acquired the capacity to overcome the obstacle and really thrive. So, boldly make your next move knowing full well that you are not the same person that was knocked down by the obstacles before you. Boldly re-apply in that company knowing that you have developed more competencies.
My Path Shines Brighter
I am not a pastor; but my Christian faith teaches me that my path is shining brighter and brighter unto the perfect day (Prov.4:18). That’s why I won’t allow lost opportunities to make me start doubting myself. I won’t allow rejections I have gotten in the past keep me from reaching for something higher.
Because my path is shining brighter and brighter by the day, God may have sent the help I need to be able to get to places I couldn’t get to in the past. My yesterday doesn’t define me. God’s promises to me do!
I don’t waste my time and energy mourning over lost opportunities. I know that the opportunities that are before me are far greater than the one I lost. Therefore, I reach for it!
When you miss certain opportunities or seem very prepared for certain places yet you don’t get a chance, don’t be angry with people, complain about systems and give up on your goal.
Instead, maximize the season wherein you seem prepared; but trapped to develop stronger capacity, walk into any open door you get and keep pushing knowing full well that God’s plan for you is that your path shines brighter unto the perfect day.
You can read more of this kind of post on our Youth Cruise Magazine, every Monday. For quick tips we share with youths every Monday, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin @BrojidWorld