When Opportunity Knocks, Don’t Blink
Edward L. Mills and James M. Watkins
Careers are often built upon being at the right place at the right time and networking with key people. The 1970s was a time in U.S. history when the Vietnam War was waning, Americans waited in gas lines due to the Arab oil embargo, and jobs for newly graduated Ph.Ds. were scarce. Consequently, career building was a challenge during these times, and one learned very quickly that when opportunity knocks, don’t blink.
Hard work, diligence, dedication, and an appreciation of the natural world are key building blocks for a career in the natural sciences. These traits and the willingness to take on new challenges can spell success no matter whether you are a student or a seasoned professional. When key people come your way in life, make sure that you look to them for strength, leadership, innovativeness, creativity, and humor. Engage yourself with mentors and take time to ponder what they are telling you. Give back to society and to future generations when possible. And for young professionals seeking a successful career, it must be repeated, when opportunity knocks, don’t blink.
The guidance of mentors sets the foundation of a career path and impacts everything we do as students and professionals. Mentors help shape a person’s view of the world, philosophy, and understanding of the past. Mentors also help create and identify new opportunities.