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July 17, 2010
How to Be in the Right Place at the Right Time

Timing is everything.  

It’s easy to disregard that as a manifestation of “luck” -- you either have it or you don’t. The concept certainly arises when job searching. You may feel stuck and hopeless; nothing seems to be working for you.  

A simple change of attitude makes a world of difference. It boils down to what you make with what comes your way. You have the ability to overcome unfortunate conditions. Timing, luck, and serendipity are factors that you control.

“Failure is an opportunity.” ~ Lao Tzu

Don’t force it

Realizing that you’re not good at something (or you do not enjoy it) is as beneficial as finding one of your strengths. When you discover a weakness, you can choose to make it stronger, or you can let it go.  

If something isn’t working for you, it’s your responsibility to change it. The uncertainty that comes with losing a job shakes up your world, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve also lost the ability to be grounded again.

Get used to things changing.


You have the power to change the direction of your life every moment. The concept of that power can be frightening, so individuals often choose to ignore their capacity to impact their own happiness. It doesn’t take much effort to have a mediocre life and blame your frustrations on someone or something else.  

“Arrange whatever pieces come your way.” ~ Virginia Woolf

Focus on the experience

Individual circumstances influence your professional life, not a formula.  

Although I took several journalism classes all four years of high school and continued to copyedit throughout college, the looming idea of “what I wanted to do” was baffling. External and internal pressures evoke a quick answer to the “what do you want to do” question: Go hide under the covers of your bed.  

But I decided to have a career as a copy editor. Power lies in taking action. Never underestimate that first step, even if you decide to change directions shortly after you make it. I realized that I love editing and working with writers to perfect their ideas. If I didn’t, however, I would change the way that I spend my days in a heartbeat. There’s no reason to continue on a path that you know is not right for you. Retire the word “should.”

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

Create opportunities

Every experience has a positive pay off if you let it. If you genuinely care about the job that you do, you naturally will stand out as an asset in that field -- opening yourself up to future opportunities.

Exploring freelance work in between full-time jobs is an effective way of learning about new careers, as well as your own abilities. Consulting or a full-time freelance profession may be a healthy fit for you. You’ll discover possibilities that you might have never thought of before.

When you prepare self-promotional materials during the job application process (résumés, writing samples, cover letters, etc.), writing mistakes are inevitable. It has nothing to do with intelligence. Take the time to fix careless errors and improve weak areas.  

My clients want to do everything they can to ensure that their image is flawless. They know that they are capable of putting out a fantastic product, whether it is Web site copy, marketing materials, or a novel. Using my proofreading services enables them to take timing, luck, and serendipity into their own hands. They take action to meet their goals and create new life paths.

Focus on your passions, experiences, and resources at all times, and you’ll continually find yourself in the right place at the right time. It’s not supernatural; it’s the way it is.

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Stefanie Flaxman corrects business, marketing, and educational documents in 24 hours. She’s a writing consultant and the founder of Revision Fairy® Small Business Proofreading Services. Check out her free report and subscribe to Small Business Writing Consultant Blog to get free business writing advice. Don’t forget to say hello on Twitter!

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