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Saturday, June 8, 2013

You Say ‘Opportunistic,’ Like it’s a Bad Thing

That thought came to me recently, as I was trolling through one of the Facebook pages devoted to my college, Wellesley. A recent graduate was looking for professional advice on how to approach an older person in her industry whom she suspected could be an excellent mentor, but she was leery of appearing, in her own words, "opportunistic." Whoa now. When did opportunism become such a bad thing? I must have missed that memo. I honestly believe that opportunism is one of those words that some people use to make women feel bad about being ambitious. Those people are going to have to try a whole lot harder with me.

I mean, if you think networking, researching and all the hard work that goes into creating the (professional) opportunities you need to succeed are bad, well, I suppose you can stay in your job that you probably loathe but took out of fear. *waving* I’ll miss you. (#noiwont). Because listen: I have six-figures of law school debt, a small business to run and two cats who refuse to work. I enjoy eating every day. I’d rather spend this Christmas in Thailand than Queens. I’ve been rich and I’ve been broke as a joke, and last time I checked, rich was better. 

Also, as a feminist and a humanist, I personally want to live in a world wherein every single person has the opportunities they need to educate themselves and ultimately achieve their fullest potential. That’s my fantasy; humor me. Humor me with the idea of a world wherein all people are well-educated, and well-read and bored by the moronic actions of Kim Kardashian's vagina, but instead wake up in the morning, excited to be the change they want in the world. Some of you are reading this thinking, “Okay, hippie, good luck with that.” Thank you! Are there even hippies left, or are they all making their own craft beer in Brooklyn, and naming their (white) children "Havana" and baking vegan biscuits for their dogs. That's a shame.

No,  I’m just a humanist. I want everyone to have the same opportunities to achieve. So you can call me an opportunist, but I prefer to think of it as a refusal to accept your "No," as my personal final answer.

I’ve never understood people who use "opportunist"in a derogatory manner. Who doesn’t want the opportunity to live your truest, most passionate life on a daily basis? Listen, I spent years working in network news, hating myself for having to cut teases of water-skiing squirrels, as “complex” personalities flubbed their live-shots and threw things at me. Between that repressed memory experience and living in Russia and surviving law school, and being engaged twice, I feel like I’m done my time in hell, thanks.  Now I’d like to use my time left on this planet to help people live their fullest, most authentic lives. So if that makes me an opportunist, i.e. a human begin determined to help you figure out your potential and then create a realistic strategy to bring that potential to fruition…? Well, no sweat, America. Just make sure the check clears. 

Want some real help to figure out how to create the opportunities you need? Of course you do, Sunshine! Email me, and like my Facebook page, "Carlotaworldwide Creativity Yenta," for a free consultation. 


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