Job Opportunities—Do They Really Only Knock Once?
“Opportunity knocks only once” is a popular saying. When applying this to your career, it is important to look for the right opportunities to make the appropriate career moves at the right times. Even if this means moving out of your comfort zone to take on something challenging but potentially more rewarding, the risk is often well worth it—both for your career progression and for your own aspirations.
Sometimes such risk-laden opportunities are great enough to leave a lasting impression on the organization and the industry itself. For example, when Marissa Mayer took the opportunity to head up Yahoo!, we all knew the organization was in trouble and that she was leaving behind a very comfortable and successful job at Google.
Such opportunities don't only show up when you're still active in a job. Kurt DelBene, who retired from heading up the very successful Office division at Microsoft earlier this year, recently accepted an exciting opportunity to head up the troubled HeathCare.gov site as a senior advisor. Some of these opportunities are not always the most rewarding financially. DelBene will most likely be in an unpaid role until June 2014. However, the potential value add he can bring and the difference he can make are huge.
That brings us to the question of whether opportunities really only knock once. While the IT job market goes through its own supply and demand pushes and pulls, it's heartening to see that opportunities are indeed abundant, and employees are often in a position to choose between them to pick the right one. Social platforms are bridging the gap between employers and potential employees, making opportunities more visible and public than before.
We are in a day and age where “if opportunity does not knock on our door, we go hunt for opportunities until we find them.” With such concerted efforts, a worthy candidate is often in a position to choose between several opportunities but needs the right maturity to distinguish between opportunities and temptations. The modern day saying is “Opportunity knocks on the door only once, but temptation leans on the door bell.”
To the untrained eye, temptation looks like an opportunity, and job hopping has become the new norm especially among the millennial generation. It is in the best interest of the employee to differentiate between these two, leverage the required career mentoring in making the right moves, and make a judicious call. A move driven by temptation rather than by an opportunity can turn out to be very expensive. The employee is risking not only his job but also his reputation—and being tagged as a job hopper rather than a reliable and consistent resource.