The Time Will be Right When the Time is Right: How to Handle Missed Opportunities

career advice mindset Feb 27, 2019

I have only hyperventilated once in my life. Up until then, I thought panic attacks only happened to extreme worriers and overly-dramatic types. I was just about to graduate and had been working in a temp position at an environmental agency and I had a shot for a permanent job. I had applied to hundreds of jobs in the past but something was telling me this was the one I needed and on the morning of the interview - I went to the wrong location. When I realized I might be late and blow my chance at the job that is when I learned how very real hyperventilating is. 

 

A couple of things led to this extreme reaction - 1) I had convinced myself that I needed this job, 2) it truly felt like the universe wanted me to get this job, and 3) from what I knew about interviews if you were late you were out.  So I started to panic.

 

Eight years later, I experienced a different panic. I needed out of this job that I had been convinced I needed so badly before. Over the years, I learned that sometimes something we thought we really wanted in the short term isn’t the best thing for us in the long term. Sometimes it feels like the Universe is playing against us by putting obstacles in our way; but what if we’re on the wrong path? What if I was supposed to be late and not get that job. Would I be in a worse place than I am now? Maybe I would have gotten a better job for me, or that I would still be loving today?

 

The point I am trying to make is that during your job search and throughout your career, you should remember the following pieces of advice that I learned through hindsight:

  • Pay attention to the signs the Universe is throwing at you but also understand that you might be misinterpreting them.
  • Recognize that losses and failures can always be turned into opportunities.
  • I could have just called and said I accidentally went to the wrong place and would be there just a few minutes late, eliminating the need for almost passing out in a parking lot from hyperventilation. I also now leave extra early for an important meeting. It’s better to sit and wait then worry about the consequences.
  • As far as missing past opportunities, you have to trust that those just weren't the right ones. I've learned to trust that although sometimes it feels like the Universe is playing tricks on me, it will also never stop opening doors as long as you keep looking for them. Only when you've walked through one of those doors will you truly feel relieved that you didn't get the ones you thought you wanted before and didn't get.

 

Ultimately, how you handle missed opportunities is not missing them in the first place. This is the importance of having a career plan and not just be looking for whatever job comes your way. If you want to make an impact in a certain habitat or saving a specific species you have to be on the path that leads to those doors and you have to plan ahead to remove all chances of rejection and misstep.

 

You might also like: The Personal Development Worksheet.

 

If you're interested in building your career plan learn more about group coaching here

 

If you have an environmental career question you'd like to see answered in a future post, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.

 

Stay gold!

-Laura

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