I was recently asked to follow up with three individuals who were provided outplacement services from their former employer to see if they wanted to use the benefit which they had been provided. The benefit consisted of anywhere from 3 to 12 sessions with a private coach to help them in their job search and career development activities. Their former employer had paid for the benefit in full. For one reason or another, they had not used it to date. The firm providing the services felt it only right to make good on what had been contracted. I am still pursuing each of the individuals about using this benefit which is absolutely free to them. All that would be required is an hour of their time for periodic coaching sessions.Opportunities present themselves to all of us continually throughout our lives. Whether it may be to volunteer our time to help out a local charity, or possibly to attend a seminar where we may learn a new skill or concept, to the example I offered above to help improve one career’s development, we are surrounded by them. Some are very good about taking advantage of what is presented to them. I have, for example, seen a number of individuals in transition over the last three years that will look to attend free library learning seminars, go to local events to network and make new friends and contacts or take advantage of a chance to help out in their local community. What does doing such things give them? First they tell me it gets them out of their homes and interacting with others. If not where they want to be in their life currently, it lets them know they are doing something to help move their life forward. It alerts them that they’re not the only one who may be in transition, and that they may have the skills and contacts to help move another along.Opportunities don’t come often with big flashing lights and blaring tones. Sometimes they may actually develop from a string of circumstances. I came upon my coaching career by going to outplacement sessions that my employer provided. There I worked with counselors to explore what might be next for me at this time in my life, through both seminars and one-to-one discussions. In learning about what I enjoyed in my previous employment it was suggested to me that it appeared I had the makeup to be a life or career coach. Not knowing anything about coaching I investigated the discipline, learned about how it worked, and began exploring certification schools. From there I found a school to my liking, became certified, and began a business. In order to expand my presence in the profession I became a member of my local coaching chapter. Ultimately I became the chapter’s President which gave me access to leaders from other chapters, and top name coaches in the industry. The path continues as I plan how I want to expand upon my business model in 2013.We all get very busy with our lives. Perhaps there are times where we can’t address an offering of the moment. However, to do that continually, or to make a decision before even trying that it may not be worth it for you to pursue something that has been offered to you, is just hurting yourself. If you feel like no one is offering you an opportunity to move your current situation forward, look again. Take a closer look at that adult school catalogue that may have come through the mail for classes at your local college or high school. If you have a calling in a particular area, see where there may be a fundraiser or local organization that can use your talents. If you have a hobby you enjoy, consider sharing it with others, or maybe using it to open a small second business. It is from taking advantage of those opportunities that come to you that greater things in your life emerge. However, if you don’t at least allow yourself to explore what comes your way, you’ll never have a chance to see where it may lead.