“If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.” I love this quote by Tom Peters. It is a great reminder to be aware of our actions when opportunities do come knocking in our lives.

We are creatures of habit and often find comfort in keeping things exactly as they are. This helps us cope with the juggle of what we already have before us. Yes, you may be comfortable – but you will never, ever grow in your career or as a person unless you seek new opportunities! Every day brings fresh ideas, exciting challenges and fabulous new beginnings if you open yourself up to them.

I confess that I have had opportunities present themselves to me in the past, and out of fear of change I found an excuse to tell myself that a new opportunity wasn’t for me. It’s just not the right time. I’m too busy already. You know the ones…

As I became aware of this nasty habit of mine to turn down – and miss out – on great things, I made a conscious decision to say ‘yes’ more.

When you say yes to a new opportunity, you are empowering yourself! You are telling yourself that you believe in your skills, in your passion, technique and abilities. Light that fire, and you will be amazed at how far the light travels! The flow on effect of new connections, skills and experiences you will create from saying yes to something new will fill you with confidence and open doors for you that you never knew existed.

So how can you take advantage of opportunities?

How new opportunities seek us and pan out all depend on our mindset, and where we are in our lives at that point in time. Sometimes, we do need to hunker down, to focus on our own health and happiness, to concentrate on getting ourselves together. We should all make time to care for ourselves so that we can live our best lives.

Treating yourself as number one, and listening to yourself when you need nourishment, refreshment, love and care positively effects many aspects of our lives. This includes our ability to see, accept and make the most of new opportunities as they arise. If you’re feeling held back by other things in your life, you may not see the best opportunities right in front of your eyes.

Take care of yourself, know yourself, and you will get really good at seeing and accepting wonderful opportunities – because you’ll be able to see a clearer picture of where you are, where you could be, and where you would like to be.

Open up yourself to new opportunities, and feel your self-confidence soar! Here are four key points for women in project management on how to take advantage of opportunities:

Be Open!

Mindset is such an important thing. We do get caught up in our lives sometimes – this is common. We can still be open to opportunities and challenge ourselves. If there is something you have wanted to do, give it a go. You are solely responsible for your own happiness. Make the decision to be more open to new opportunities and change. Better to have tried something out and learned from it, than to never do anything different in life.

Say Yes!

Saying ‘yes’ to things is a great way to take advantage of opportunities that are available. So when someone says: ‘There is this fantastic opportunity, do you want to give it a try?’ – say yes, and be excited about it. Don’t wait for things to be ‘perfect’ as perfection does not exist. There is no time like the present. Some opportunities may never strike again.

Be Bold!

It’s important to a take a chance on something sometimes, even if you don’t know what the exact outcome is going to be. The level of risk is up to you, but don’t wait for all the exact details to fall into place before leaping at an opportunity. Too much delay may allow the opportunity to slip away from you. Just know enough to understand your options and commitment, and see what unfolds!

Mix Things Up!


Do something you wouldn’t normally do. This could be something as simple as engaging with a social media post, mentioning your passions in conversation with new people or colleagues, or challenging yourself to learn a new skill. You will never know what great things can come out of these simple moments.

We all have our own connections and knowledge. The person sitting next to you might have the most incredible experience for you to be involved with, but unless you engage with them and tell them what you love, they won’t know to tell you about an opportunity great for you.

If you’re looking for something different for yourself, a place to start working on your ‘yes’ mindset right now, and to boost your self-confidence – submit your profile now for my 2019 #CelebratingWomenInProjectManagement series. Be part of the community of fabulous women in project management! We cannot wait to meet you, and to support you as you find new opportunities in life and in your project management career.

Never forget your value. No one else can do what you do.

Elise Stevens