Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Julie Shenkman
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If you find yourself stuck in a rut as an administrative assistant, perhaps you find yourself lacking a challenge or bored with mundane, everyday tasks at your current position. Instead of giving up on a growth opportunity at the first sign of resistance, try to step outside of your comfort zone to move forward with your life goals.

A growth opportunity may disguise itself as an obstacle or roadblock on the path to career fulfillment. When you reach a barrier that seems to impede progress, you have a choice to try to push through the obstacle and succeed or find a way around it. An obstacle does not prevent your success. How you handle an apparent setback determines the road ahead of you.

The key to transforming an obstacle into a growth opportunity rests in turning the situation into a learning experience. For example, if you hoped to earn a promotion in your office by age 25 and that did not happen, you may try to make connections with other employers who may find your services valuable. Making these professional connections takes time, energy and effort that may not see tangible results immediately. However, the payoff could happen when you have the inside track to a job opening about which nobody else knows. One of the biggest obstacles to growth may involve a lack of patience when you do not see tangible gains right from the start.

Barriers to success offer you an opportunity to learn. Obstacles test your desire for a goal, and when you pass the test, you learn how to handle things better than you did previously. You must work and commit to achieving the goal to achieve a growth opportunity as a side benefit.

Salespeople use several tactics to avoid barriers to landing the sale, and these may help you in an administrative career as well. Listen to what your colleagues tell you, and try to help those people. Avoid confrontations and conflicts as much as possible, because no one wants to work with a combative, abrasive person. Maintain a professional image by looking sharp on the job and becoming a model employee. Work well with your co-workers, supervisor, management and everyone you talk to on the job.

Aside from a day-to-day work regimen, start to plan ahead as you try to overcome any obstacles that stymie your progress. Possible impediments include your boss who wants you to stay in your current position, your health, time management, job skills and knowledge. Improve your health by joining a gym, eating better and getting enough sleep. Learn how to prioritize tasks at home and work. Improve your job skills by attending seminars, job training and classes. Your growth opportunity begins by writing down a cognizant plan to push forward with your dreams.

Once you take a proactive stance to achieve your goal, create a fallback position in case plans change. As you step out of your comfort zone, Plan B gives you peace of mind and security in case your growth opportunity turns out differently than you expect. Even if you do not achieve your goals, you learn valuable life lessons along the journey.

Photo courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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