Ask for Opportunity

There is opportunity out there for all of us — ALL OF US!  But in order for you to get it, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes.  I’ve learned that sometimes all it takes for you to get opportunity is by being bold enough to step up and ask for opportunity.  Let’s dig into how having the courage to ask for opportunity worked for me and how it can work for you, too!

I had been in my management role a little over a year when the CEO asked all the managers to complete a succession plan.  If you aren’t familiar with what a succession plan is, basically it answers the question of who will take your place when you get promoted, quit, or get hit by a train — however you want to look at it. ?

As I started digging into the analytics of my department, what I thought about my department, I found out was true.  I had the numbers to back it up!

Customer traffic was down.  Managers across our team had the bandwidth to manage more employees.  There were also  multiple projects we should be working on that would add to our bottom line.

What did all of this mean?

It meant that the researched showed that there was no need for my current position.

I was a new employee, a young employee.  This was my first big project at this company and all of the research I had done came down to this! I did not want to present my succession plan and say, “You should fire me.”  ? I had to have a job!

So I figured out a way to make this a win-win for everyone.  I started lining out the organization weaknesses and I lined them up with my strengths.  There were problems I could fix.  There were value-strategies and projects I could implement and manage that would add to the bottom line!

? There was my opportunity.


No Need for My Position

When the time came, I stood in front of senior management in the boardroom and gave them what they asked for — a personal recommendation for who could effectively fill my current position and why.  They were all pleased.

But then I turned my presentation from tradition to innovation.  Some of their faces went from smiles of support ? — to shock ?.

I thoroughly explained to them how the numbers of the business proved there was no longer a need for my current position within the company.  The only reason to keep me in that current role would be because “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”  And that way, was not helping the business. ?


Boldly Ask

I went on to explore important unmet needs within the company and shared my idea for how a new position could fix.  They saw the needs and agreed.

Then I stepped up to the plate and asked for opportunity.  I was sweating bullets and my heart was racing, but I gave them every reason as to why I was the best fit for this new position.  I closed the presentation by asking for the opportunity to fill this new position.

The room was silent.

I left that meeting without direction or feedback. It was brutal. ?

However, executive management finished out the fiscal year by eliminating my current position and creating a new, more strategic, more profitable position within the company.

Who got the new job?  I did. ?


Where Could You Be

I sought out opportunity when it looked like there was none — and I asked for it. I had no doubt that because I was willing to muster up the courage to be bold enough to ask for it, that is why I got it.  I have countless stories of where this philosophy has been true in my life.  You can get what you want, but you have to ask for it.

Where could you be if you sought out opportunity and then were bold enough to ask for it?

YOU control your success.  The question is, will you be bold enough to ask for it?


#ProfessionalDevelopment #Courage #BeBold #LeadershipDevelopment #KeynoteSpeaker #EmergingLeaders #Innovate

Alyson Van Hooser
Author: Alyson Van Hooser
Alyson Van Hooser, Leadership Keynote Speaker, Trainer on Millennials, Gen Z & Women in Business With the grit that only comes from tough experiences, Alyson has learned a thing or two about personal and professional success. From her management experience with Walmart, as an elected city council member, bank manager — all before the age of 30 — Alyson has wisdom well beyond her years! Her podcast, Stake: The Leadership Podcast, offers a fresh perspective on leadership and helps multiple generations successfully work together! Connect with Alyson on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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