I drove to Columbus the other day to attend a networking event. While I was in town, I was able to visit my son and take him shopping for clothes. He had just scored an interview the day before and had worn the only suit he had in his closet. He was invited back for a second interview and didn’t have anything else to wear, but that’s not the real point to this story.
My son works the counter at a rental car company. It’s monotonous stressful work, but it pays the bills while he finishes his college degree. His responsibilities include ensuring that each client has a positive experience. As you can imagine, he comes across a diverse group of individuals: some pleasant and some not so pleasant. If you have held this position for a while, it can take quite a toll on you. Your enthusiasm and positive attitude in this environment can disappear rather quickly. As for him, I think that he’s done a great job of keeping a positive attitude despite the circumstances.
The man that walked up to the counter was one of many that he serves during the day. As usual, he struck up a friendly conversation with him and inquired about what he was doing in Columbus. The man shared that he was in the city to check on one of his offices. My son engaged him in conversation about his business and by the end of the conversation, he asked for the man’s business card. The customer then shared that he was hiring, and if he was interested, maybe he could set up an interview.
When my son got off work in the afternoon, he called me. He discussed the experience and said he was going to email the man when he got home. After finishing our conversation, he impulsively decided to call the man and ask for the interview. The hiring manager set an appointment the very next day to talk to him.
He texted me to let me know that he had an interview set up. He shared, “It’s called taking advantage of a seemingly insignificant opportunity and making something out of it.” I’m not kidding you— those were the exact words he used and he’s totally correct. Let’s review the facts here; if he had sent a resume in for this position, he would have never been considered. He didn’t necessarily have the needed skills to take on this challenge. Yet, there he was, in a position to possibly receive quite an opportunity.
Maybe some of it is luck— being in the right place at the right time. Maybe some of it is skill— being able to sell yourself and know exactly what to say and when to say it. Most of all, it is exactly what he said— taking advantage of a seemingly insignificant opportunity. It’s the ability to recognize and seize on a chance in life, all the while taking the risk and putting yourself “out there.” Approaching every moment like THE MOMENT that can change your life.
So where do you fit into this equation? Can you remember a time where you made things happen or do things happen to you? Maybe this will inspire you to open yourself to an opportunity that has been dangling right in front of your eyes.