Stop Looking For a Job, Start Looking for an Opportunity : Under30CEO Stop Looking For a Job, Start Looking for an Opportunity : Under30CEO
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Stop Looking For a Job, Start Looking for an Opportunity

| November 14, 2011 | 18 Comments

Opportunity-aheadA lot of jobs that once were, aren’t coming back. Ever. To look for what isn’t there is a waste of time and an insult to your dignity.

If you haven’t noticed, the world has changed — radically. The traditional yellow brick road to success and financial security has imploded. The path to a high-paying job used to involve getting the highest academic degree you could obtain, along with specific technical job skills, to start climbing the ladder. Today, most of the ladders are decimated. If those jobs still exist, the needed knowledge and skills of those jobs have changed . . . and change again every day.

These are the greatest times of opportunity we have seen in human history — but only if you know how to seize them. To succeed you need to change with the way the world is working now. If you are unemployed, underemployed, or want to take control of your financial future, here are seven strategies to thrive in the new world.

1. Adapt to the new reality.

Over the last decade we have witnessed the death rattle of an era gone by. The corporate structure and monolithic systems of the industrial age have begun to crumble. We are returning to the way we started — as entrepreneurs. When America was founded, the majority of people had their own business, farm, market or trade. People used their skillsets and hobbies to make a living as entrepreneurs. Then the industrial age flipped the ratio and most people became employed by new systems of repetitive labor and mass production.  Technology recently wired all of us directly to each other, destroying heavily controlled and highly valued distribution channels, giving every entrepreneur immediate and direct access to a global marketplace of opportunity, right from their fingertips . . . or laptop. This means competition doesn’t just come from the business down the street, but also from every basement or second bedroom of every home in every city or suburb in every country of the world. You better become a continual learner and constantly improve your special skills.

2. Stop looking for a job and start looking for an opportunity.

Take the skills you have as an employee and turn those into a contract services business. You have an expertise, knowledge and experience in something that’s unique to you. Your skillset might be so unique you don’t even recognize it as personal expertise. What is your experience, knowledge or unique gifts? Ask a good friend, colleague or former employer to tell you. Once you discover your specialization, hire your expertise out, offer it to multiple businesses and entrepreneurs who need what you can deliver. More companies are hiring consultants and contractors for specific projects, specialized skills and services. Bartering services on the Internet are booming — sites like and

3. What do you have?

What goods do you have that others might want? What goods do you have easy access to that most do not? What goods can you make that people would want? Answer one or more of those questions and take it to market through eBay or an automated store. You also can write about your area of skill or expertise. You can create a how-to information book and sell it through ClickBank, create a podcast or video blog series and distribute it through iTunes or other distributions channels. Follow through on a great idea. There are probably thousands of people who want to know what you know or how to do what you do. Plus, it has never been cheaper to build, outfit and market your business than it is today. Vendors are flexible and partnerships are open.

4. Who do you know?

If you want to calculate your potential for increased wealth, don’t look at your current bank balance, cars or property inventory. Look at the inventory of your high caliber relationships. With the Industrial Age over, we are now in the Relationship Age. Unequivocally, the relationships you build will be your No. 1 asset in these expanding and fast-changing times. Your ability to network is the skill you want to hone, practice and master. Your ability to get to, connect with and establish relationships with important and purposeful people will be your gateway to any goal, destination or aspiration you have.

5. What problem can you solve?

The economic downturn has created a ton of new problems that need solving. Problems are food and oxygen for entrepreneurialism. Those who create solutions to our new problems will become the beneficiaries of these times. Remember, 90 percent of entrepreneurs started out at the bottom, broke or with little capital or savings. Today they are among the world’s wealthiest.

6. Return to self-reliance and self-responsibility.

You make your choices; then your choices make you. Everything in your life exists because you made a choice about something. Choices are at the root of your results. Don’t choose at all and you’ve made the choice to be the passive receiver of whatever comes your way. Most people think they take responsibility for their lives, but many people operate in the world of blaming, finger pointing and expecting someone else — or the government — to solve their problems. You can’t count on anyone else for your success but you.

7. Take control of your future!

Separate from everyone else by developing the mindset, habits, actions and persistence it’s going to take for personal accountability and control of your future. Your soft skills can give you the leading edge. With the mind-blowing velocity of change and throng of competition, the skills needed for success today are less about academic, industrial, or technical training and more about soft skills — emotional intelligence, adaptability,  resiliency, relationship-building, accountability, productivity and leadership skills.

There are no secrets, shortcuts or quick fixes to success. It takes hard work, personal responsibility and positive choices. You already know all the information you need to succeed. You just need a new plan of action. Now is the time.

Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success, has been a leader in the personal development industry for sixteen years, having led two personal development-based television networks, producing and launching more than a thousand television shows, live events, products, and programs with many of the world’s top experts. As an entrepreneur, Darren was earning a six-figure income by age eighteen, more than a million dollars a year by age twenty-four, and owned a company producing $50 million a year in revenue by age twenty-seven. He has mentored thousands of entrepreneurs, advised many large corporations, and serves on the board of several companies and nonprofit organizations.

For more information please visit, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

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Category: Personal Branding, Startup Advice

  • Brandon Jacobs

    Absolutely loved the post. Thanks for the insights. Looking forward to putting your words into action!

  • Yura Bryant

    It’s crazy how entrepreneurial minds think alike and speak on the same subject within the same context.

  • Natandmae

    This is good! Times are changing!

  • Will

    This is what all the protesters with the Occupy Movement need to do! 

  • Henry Louis

    Well said. As you mentioned here, if we look for an opportunity, then it would be more helpful to us to get good results in life.

  • Peachanan Rojwongsuriya

    Very well written! My Favorite part:
    “Most people think they take responsibility for their lives, but many people operate in the world of blaming, finger pointing and expecting someone else — or the government — to solve their problems. You can’t count on anyone else for your success but you.”

    Very true!

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  • Gopal Thorve

    Well said! These are ways to grow faster.

  • Lauren

    Great points here. I especially agree with number 7. If you want to be successful in your entrepreneurial endeavors, you have to take control of your future and use your specific skill set to make things happen. By working hard and creating positive opportunities you can turn your ideas into a reality and work as your own boss in no time at all. Thanks for putting together such a helpful guide for the great thought leaders of tomorrow.


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  • Tom Pinit

    Wow Darren, so much truth to this post, thank you very much. I am starting to understand the new reality we live in, and more importantly, what to do about it–for myself and for my children’s future. Personally I have come to rely so much on external validation, I think I have lost a bit of my own self-confidence in my own talents and abilities. Taking some action to regain that piece through my own personal work.

  • Huntfour Anarnia

    Wow! was starting to think I was doomed to continue living in the Twilight’s Zone…thanks for delivering this wake up call!

  • Vinod thorve

    I like it very much. Thanks for a wonderful article.

  • Evelyn Garcia

    If you are looking for an opportunity that will change your life take a look at and if you have questions email me at and I can show you how to get started.

  • Omar Barrientos

    Four years ago my life changed in a big way. I found what I was looking for my whole life, but it took getting laid off from a powerful execute position to open my eyes. Opportunity seldom comes at opportune times. Keep your eyes open.

    Omar Barrientos

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  • Zachary Quinn DiMartino

    you sound like an incredibly open minded person. i am looking for those kind of people. Your opportunity sounds like what i have to offer.

  • abdallah

    I have found something that will help you make residual income and that has changed my life in such a positive way and the personal development that i have gained is priceless its changed the way i view life any questions find me on facebook abdallah el-houari feel free to ask i know how you feel was there ;)