Career Advice

Say Yes to Your Second Chance

August 4, 2022

Say Yes To Your Second Chance Not every second act starts after careful consideration and a fully-thought out business plan. Sometimes our biggest second act successes happen simply because someone had the courage to say yes to opportunity.    Saying yes to opportunities that come knocking can have a huge impact on your career – […]

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The Second Act Success Career Blog features articles to help inspire you as you navigate your career journey. Plus, you'll find show notes from podcast guests who have shared second act success stories. My hope is that these quick reads will offer advice and comfort knowing you are not alone on your path towards second act success. xo - Shannon


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Say Yes To Your Second Chance

Say yes to opportunity

Not every second act starts after careful consideration and a fully-thought out business plan. Sometimes our biggest second act successes happen simply because someone had the courage to say yes to opportunity. 


Saying yes to opportunities that come knocking can have a huge impact on your career – and your life. As Richard Branson famously said, “ Opportunity favors the bold!” Take a look at Melissa Guller, who Shannon recently spoke to on the podcast. She was working in corporate education and asked to volunteer to teach at night. She said, “Yes.” That led to being asked to tutor. It led to being asked to do consulting. That one, yes, resulted in multiple other opportunities. Which, in turn, gave her the inspiration and confidence to start her own consulting business, Wit & Wire.


As the saying goes, “Nothing changes if nothing ever changes.” In order for you to grow as a person or an employee or entrepreneur, you must venture out into new territory. Saying yes to career opportunities is a great way to incite change and push yourself towards something that fulfills your goals. 


Even if an individual opportunity doesn’t lead to a new career or new venture, saying yes offers invaluable benefits, including: 


Prevents Burnout

Trying something new can break you out of a rut. Monotonous jobs that rely on routines and endless repetition can quickly lead to burnout. Trying something new can stave off boredom and prevent burnout. 


Takes you out of your comfort zone

Timing is never perfect. Your personal life is crazy. Your kids are requiring extra time. There is always an excuse for delaying change, especially when you have grown comfortable and used to what you are doing. Accepting new challenges can take you out of your comfort zone and give you the push you didn’t realize you needed. You may never feel ready to make changes on your own, so taking advantage of opportunities that come your way is critical.


Opens up more opportunities

Opportunity begets opportunity. When one thing opens up, be prepared to ride the wave. Trying new things allows exposure to new people, new skills, new networks. Staying open-minded and flexible will bring about additional chances for growth as people recognize your talents and willingness to branch out. 


Learn something new

Every opportunity offers the chance to learn something new. This could be a new skill developed during the task. It could also be something as basic as learning what you DON’T want to do. If someone presents you with an opportunity involving something you don’t know how to do, say yes anyway. Then take the time to learn what you need to know. This is a great opportunity to ‘fake it ‘til you make it.’


Grows self confidence

Doing something new and proving to yourself and others that you are capable and talented enough can’t be undervalued. Stretching your boundaries and giving yourself the freedom to succeed or fail can strengthen self-trust. Expanding your skills is a great way to reinvest in your development and overall confidence. 


It’s Fun

One of the biggest reasons people say no to new opportunities is fear. Fear that they will fail, fear that they are the wrong person for the job. Overcoming this fear can be challenging, but if you push past it and say yes, you open yourself to new, exciting experiences. There is a thrill of doing something outside of your normal. It can lead to unexpected enjoyment, satisfaction and pride in your work. There is fun in new experiences. 


Builds Your Reputation

Whether it’s a favor, volunteer work or just stepping up when needed, saying yes to opportunity greatly enhances your reputation. Whether the opportunity is for your current job or something else, embracing opportunities demonstrates many positive character traits that others respect, including, a willingness to contribute more, enthusiasm, courage, flexibility, and eagerness. Not only that, but people will be more interested in collaborating with you, discussing other opportunities or brainstorming new ideas.  


When Should You Say Yes

Being more willing to say yes, does not mean that you need to become the person everyone turns to for help. Saying yes shouldn’t mean letting yourself be taken advantage of, or constantly doing unreturned favors for others. Instead, saying yes to opportunities simply means to stop listening to your fears and inadequacies and things that hold you back. 

Don’t give in to knee jerk responses of “no”. Take the time to carefully consider opportunities, asking yourself if anything about it interests you – the skills involved, the people you would be working with, the industry, the function, anything. Would it be an opportunity to stretch your skills or grow? 

Think about any possible upsides for you. This could include anything from proving to others that you are flexible, proving to yourself that you can do more than you thought, skill development, confidence boost, exposure to the right people, or even just preventing boredom. 

If there is anything about the opportunity that spikes your curiosity, say yes. Nothing is permanent. Say yes to the opportunity and see where it takes you. It might just lead to your second act.