Setting yourself up for opportunities

Shot of a young businessman cheering while working on a computer in an office at night

We all love hearing success stories or being part of one. Success does not happen in a day. It starts by preparing ahead and setting ourselves up for opportunities. Opportunities also do not pop out of thin air when we are not looking for one.

Tips on how to set yourself up/ prepare for opportunities:

  • Set your goals and vision. A man without a plan is intentionally planning to fail. You need to write down your goals and visions. What are you good at or have interest in? Where do you see yourself in the next one, five and ten years? What are the skills or resources you need to learn or have that will get you there? These are some of the questions you need to have in mind when writing out your goals

  • Develop the right values. Your hard work or skills can get you to the top but it’s your values that will keep you there. Values like integrity, honesty, self-discipline, empathy, accountability, responsibility, etc. These are what you should intentionally build in your daily life

  • Acquire the right skills. What are the skills that are needed in your chosen career path that you need to learn? What are the skills needed in a scholarship or job application? Your leadership skills, are you working on it? A good way to have an idea on what schools, companies need is to look at their job description or eligibility they listed out.

  • Cultivate a learning habit. You should never stop learning. One habit that I’ve noted in the lives of successful people is that they never stop learning. Things are changing constantly and if you don’t learn regularly and keep in touch with what is happening in your field you will soon go out of date. So, cultivate a learning habit, and have a curious mind.

  • Work hard. Nobody is going to do it for you, that is why you should put in the work. You can’t achieve your dreams by just wishing, daydreaming or cutting corners. Put in the work bit by bit but consistently.

  • Build a portfolio. After finding out what skills you need to achieve your dreams, build your portfolio. As someone that wants to build a career in bioinformatics, are you taking on personal bioinformatics projects? What about internships? Volunteering? While doing all these, document them.

  • Network. Relationships are powerful. It is one of the catalysts that will propel your dreams. Intentionally build your network both online and offline. Go to events/seminars online or offline and network. One major mistake about networking is that we go about it from a one-sided point of view, we are always out on what to gain. Giving in relationships should work both ways. Ask/find out what you can do for the person.

Set yourself up for opportunities so that when they come you are prepared and also so that you will always recognize them.

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