Opportunities for 2014

Look-for-Opps150WEBOpportunities will abound in 2014. As the title of this article indicates, it is about how we can make 2014 and every year a success by taking advantage of opportunities. Notice though, the title doesn’t have the word “new” in it. Why is this?

As part of my executive coaching business, I offer ESL Business Coaching. As you no doubt know, ESL is an acronym for English as a Second Language. I have the opportunity to view many perspectives from people who are native to countries such as Chile, China, Cuba, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, South America, The Middle East and Romania. Here’s an example of opportunity from their perspectives.

One of my Japanese clients works all day at his job. Once a week, he drives 30 miles to our session from work. Our sessions last from 6:00pm to 8:15pm. When we finish at 8:15, he then drives the 30 miles back to his job so that he can participate in conference calls with his co-workers in Japan. During one of our sessions, I offered that because her works so many hours every day, he is losing the opportunity to see his two children grow up. He agreed, but indicated that he must remain loyal to his employer as the company provides a living for him and his family. Clearly a different mindset than we Americans project. The discussion turned to the opportunity to find another position where he isn’t required to work so many hours. He will be going back to Japan soon and he confessed that he must also remain with this company as the job market is so tight in Japan and the opportunity to switch jobs is not as prevalent as here in the United States.

A female Japanese client suggests that not only is job scarcity a problem, but the male dominated society of Japan puts up roadblocks for the advancement of females. In addition, she is not likely to enjoy a promotion for the next 10 years! The promotional time holds true for males as well. Someone who is promotable material rarely has to wait that long for the opportunity for advancement here in America.

In addition, opportunities in general for females are much better here. In a recent interview on the Today Show, the founder of Spanx. ™ , Sara Blakely, suggests that she is grateful for being in America as being a female entrepreneur in many countries is not possible due to discrimination against females.

Another client from Israel suggests that in Israel few job opportunities exist. Moreover, life in general is extremely tough and one has to fight for every resource, necessity of life and every opportunity. A client from china suggests that because there are so many people in China that not only is finding a job difficult, but that few opportunities are available for the masses. Indeed, he goes on to say that, many people give up on their dreams as it just goo difficult to fight others and the system in the pursuit of those dreams. Oh yes, we have systems here as well. However, we can often find clever ways around the system, work within the system and some can even make the system work for them! Generally speaking, in doing so, we do not imprison or shoot people for their efforts.

No, these opportunities are not new. We Americans have had these same opportunities for decades. No, life here is not always easy for some of us. However, whenever I begin to whine, I think of a neighbor who escaped here from Castro’s Cuba. He came here with nothing, started his own business, and created a home and a good living for him, his wife and his three children. He was fond of saying, “If you can’t make money in America, you just aren’t trying.” So you see, opportunities will abound for each of us in 2014 and beyond. While the opportunities discussed here are indeed not new, if we can’t find what we’re looking for, we have the resources to create new ones. Now go out there and take advantage of America’s bounty and the many opportunities you have to innovate and create new ones!