How To Find Opportunities In Unusual Times

Guest Commentary
By Dee Brown
Photo of a blue plastic toy man looking thru binoculars


The past two years have put opportunity on the back burner for many individuals, as well as organizations. Many people have felt stuck due to the bevy of never-before-experienced things thrown at them throughout the pandemic.

However, these unprecedented times have led some people to take enormous risks.

For example, a record number of people have left their traditional jobs for new opportunities. This widespread movement has been deemed The Great Resignation.

A massive shift to remote work allowed people to jump on fresh opportunities for jobs, many of which offered the benefit to work from anywhere. Many others have reported shifts in their priorities throughout the last couple of years. All of these shifts have changed their lives.

How does one go about unearthing opportunities, especially when it seems like the world has turned upside down? Life will always throw some strange circumstances at us from time to time. The method in which we react to the changes determines our ability to adapt to major shifts in our lives.

Look for the Silver Lining

It can be challenging to identify the good when things are in a constant upheaval. Even so, no situation is entirely negative. When the unexpected happens, look for the positive aspects that come with it.

For instance, the pandemic showed that remote work could be productive for companies and ultimately create a happier workforce, overall. Many people jumped at the opportunity to work remotely in the last two years, and for most, their lives are better for it. It allowed many workers to spend more time with their families.

When everything around us — from news headlines to rising prices on everyday goods — inundates us with doom and gloom, those who seek out the positive or the silver lining are able to more clearly see the opportunities presented to them.

Seek Out Community

The many shutdowns derived from the pandemic made meeting face to face and engaging socially with new people virtually impossible. However, there are options to forge new connections and join communities online that can lead to new connections, both personally and professionally.

There are groups for nearly every interest or industry on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, LinkedIn and Discord. Allowing yourself to connect with other like-minded people or groups helps to diminish feelings of loneliness and despair and give a sense of purpose.

Difficult Times Can Breed Innovation

Just as necessity is the mother of invention, difficult times have historically bred new innovations. When people are faced with unusual challenges, it tends to spark their creativity in a search for solutions. When we are open to new ideas, opportunities can present themselves.

Many new business ventures and new products have emerged since the pandemic initially began, born from unusual circumstances and people being given the time and space to create.

Make the Most of Your Time

The last two years gave us time to think, dream, plot and act on our plans. Time management, organization, and not having to transport to work leads to opportunities to make a huge impact on the world.

An idea can be great, but without implementation it remains just an idea. To make it grow into an opportunity, you must nourish it, feed it and bring it to fruition.

Opportunities can sprout from anywhere. Time management allows you to educate yourself on how to further your career. This can come in the form of formal education, mentorships, shadowing, research, or continuing education on topics that are of interest to you.

Unusual times can make it hard to make big changes. Fear of the unknown is a top factor on why so many people fail to make their dreams a reality. These unparalleled times have offered us some monumental challenges, but have also offered the opportunity for innovation to shine. Some of the best ideas and the most remarkable innovations have come about during the most atypical periods.

Having the courage and foresight to jump on opportunities when they arise is the difference maker.

Dee Brown
Forbes Business Council 2022
Dee Brown is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, philanthropist and host of the WTVP program “Self-Made with Dee Brown CEO.” A member of the Forbes Business Council, he is president and CEO of The P3 Group Inc. in Memphis, the nation’s largest minority-owned development and construction firm.