You know what’s the hardest thing of all for me?
Searching for opportunities.
No, not hiking tall scary mountains, going into the cage full of lions, starting each day in a new place, and not even being on time. It’s searching for these damn opportunities.
I’d given a million dollars – if I had one – to the company that would accumulate and offer opportunities. And not just some opportunities, but worth trying opportunities, the real deals, and perfect just for you. But unless I found such company in the nearest future, there’s still the old way (which, of course, is the new way for the older generation, and a couple decades ago it didn’t even seem possible at all): internet research.
Now imagine a picture. I’m in my room, sitting on my bed with my back pressed to the wall, legs crossed, and a laptop on my lap. The door opens and my mom walks in. She sees what you just pictured your mind. And she starts this never-ending “you’re doing nothing, sitting at home, wasting your time on the Internet, get a full-time job, do something”. I look at her and look back at the screen. I don’t have powers to talk. I don’t have powers to argue. I tried to explain it once or twice, but I gave up. It’s tremendously hard to explain to the person of the generation born in late fifties that if you want to find a great opportunity, you have to work your ass off. For it is a hard, tiring, exhausting job.
What do I call opportunities? Well, for me it’s internships, various cool conferences and grad schools. My filter is that I can’t pay any money for them. But here you face the fact that everyone wants to take your money, and not to give any to you. And you spend day by day searching, and there comes nothing.
You start with search engines and aggregator websites, with links that lead you to links that lead you to links. On the way, 90% of the results turn out to be something unfit for one reason or another. You then proceed to that remaining 10%, digging into the depths of these websites, reading through tons of information, only to find out that the option is no good for you. Or maybe there’s this 0,1% that might work. All you have to do then is to apply and wait for results, not really expecting much.
And it’s some eternal circle, this looking for opportunities: you look, and when you find one and seize it and realize it, you’re back on your bed with your laptop looking for another one. In the meantime, lots of distractions come by, dazzling you with advertisements of success and so on. For a few days I seriously considered a job of a flight attendant with some fancy southern airline. Why, you really get paid to travel the world. Only then you find out that there are constant extra unpaid hours and you don’t really get much time in the new country. And things alike and worse.
So here I am, searching. It’s very time-consuming! I have to schedule playing my ukulele, writing and fitness, and maneuver among the remaining exams at school. But I will get there. Wish me luck.
And I wish you the best of luck, whoever you are, whatever you have to search for. This century gives us a lot of means to find a special opportunity. It only takes hard work and patience. Until it won’t require as much, sometime in the future.