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In Uncertain Times, Prepare Yourself for New Opportunities

November 25, 2008 | 42,331 views

new opportunitiesGlobal financial collapse, rapid relocation of industries, emerging markets, political unrest, and just the fast pace of change all mean that things you take for granted today might be completely different tomorrow.

It’s a stressful time, and one in which long-term planning is becoming more and more difficult. Since you can’t possibly know what’s coming, it’s important that you keep your eyes open, and be ready to grab hold of new opportunities.

Here are some ideas about how to do that from Lifehack.org:

Take a Professional Inventory

Without adequate understanding of your own strengths (and weaknesses), you’re never going to be able to further your own development. Take some time to list your skills and talents. Add to that a list of your accomplishments, and how each achievement made use of those skills and talents.

Focus on Relationship-Building

Networking is always important, no matter what your field or goals, but now is the time to not only broaden your list of contacts but to deepen it. Start striking up conversations with people you get along with but have, so far, not really connected with. Give people a chance to know you as a person, and get to know them the same way.

Level Up

Make yourself more valuable by learning new skills or improving old ones. Look for areas where you have a strong-but-not-expert knowledge already, and see how you can build yourself up in that area.

Ask Lots of Questions

Information is your most valuable asset right now, and asking questions is the best way to get information. Asking questions is also the most powerful tool in your relationship-building toolset; people like to talk about themselves and their work, and asking questions gives them the opportunity to do so.

Write Your Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a 2-3-minute speech summarizing a product, proposal, or project for a potential buyer or backer. The idea is that if you were in an elevator with someone, you could get the most important information about whatever you’re selling across to them in the couple of minutes before the elevator reaches their floor.

Be ready to explain who you are at a moment’s notice instead of fumbling for words when the opportunity of a lifetime comes within your grasp.

Be Creative

Economic downturns favor innovation -- they present new problems, and those problems need solving. People and organizations left hawking solutions to old problems will rapidly find themselves extinct. Seek out those new problems, and set your mind free in search of new solutions.

Nobody knows for sure what’s going to happen over the next year or so. Make sure you’re ready, no matter what happens!
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