Planting Opportunities

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to speak to soon-to-be-high school graduates and soon-to-be college graduates on different occasions.  In both panels, the focus was my career path in education and advice for those who want a career in education. In reflecting on my own journey I realized that for every opportunity that I have been given, a seed for that opportunity was planted long before it occurred.  It was never planned, but somehow, each seed was quietly harvested, quietly growing until the time was ripe to take advantage of the next step.  Mostly, these seeds came in the way of connections which led to opportunities.  Or maybe, the opportunities led to further connections. Or both.

As I look back, although I didn’t necessarily have an end in sight, I knew opportunities that were good for me, people that were good for me and took chances that led to other new chances.

As I talked to these eager young folks, I talked about taking advantage of all of the opportunities given to you, making good, solid, lasting impressions and staying connected to people who inspire you.  I realize that this is what I’ve done so far in my own career.  Right now, I’m very much “in the moment” of my still “new” administrative career.  However, one day, I’d like to get my doctorate, or teach college or write more books for teachers.  So right now, I’m planting seeds for opportunities: e-mailing my old book editor with new ideas for books, saying YES to speaking at a college seminar for graduating seniors and keeping my eyes open for other ways to plant seeds for the future.  You never know what will grow….

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