Recognizing Disguised Breakout Opportunities

September 15 2012

Awesome career opportunities are not always so obviously awesome.

Nassim Taleb made this point in The Black Swan:

Many people do not realize they are getting a lucky break in life when they get it. If a big publisher (or a big art dealer or a movie executive or a hotshot banker or a big thinker) suggests an appointment, cancel anything you have planned: you may not see such a window open up again.

Marc Andreessen stresses that sometimes opportunities come in more subtle packages:

A senior person at your firm is looking for someone young and hungry to do the legwork on an important project.

A small group of your smartest friends are headed to Denny’s at 11 PM to discuss an idea for a startup — would you like to come along?

Being able to recognize — and act on — disguised or subtle opportunities is a skill of the best entrepreneurial professionals.