Being an Opportunist

Do you think being an opportunist is a good thing or a bad thing? I would certainly like to think of myself as being an opportunist but I do not think I am smart enough. Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I was the Country Manager for a British Multinational and had the opportunity to meet lots of people everyday. Although my salary was high allowing me the freedom to walk downstairs to indulge in a dozen pairs of Ferragamos every month (I was single and independent, what the heck!), I really could have made so much more money if only I was a better opportunist. Dang!!!

At that age, I wasn’t near entrepreneurial enough. I’m learning now though. If you’re young and just started out, please learn these skills as early as possible. Not like me, only learning now as an old lady….

Because I got to meet about a dozen new people every day and had clients coming out of my nose, the opportunities were ENDLESS!!!! Except that I never saw it. Chisss!!! The only remote opportunity that I saw was that a few clients offered me a job and I did eventually join one in secret. Why? Because I had a contract to fulfill which said clients weren’t allowed to hire their employees. So judge me. There are always ways around a contract unless you have it air tight. You just have to get creative.

Service to my clients as a service provider was top class, all above board, at top speed. In everything you do, speed is the key. But speed with perfection. And you will definitely do well. Even when you have the negative feeling that you shouldn’t do your job well because you aren’t paid enough, do it damn fast and perfect anyway. Because although your boss may not notice it (or do not want to), others will. And besides, it is for your own self-preservation and motivation. You should be proud that you do such an excellent job. One day, you WILL be rewarded for it. Not by this boss perhaps but definitely by someone somehow, the good things will flow inwards to you. Please trust me on this.

One of my Scandinavian clients were looking to recruit some locals and were asking me where I could find some good talent. Me knowing a lot of people said sure, no problem! I’ll ask around and pass you some contacts. And happily I went along not thinking anything more. But when I casually mentioned it to one of my friends, he asked me, what’s your referral fee?

Huh? What referral fee? 

You’re helping them find new talent. They should pay you a referral fee. Do you know that if they go through a headhunter, they’d have to pay something like 3 months of the new recruits salary? 

Really? 

Of course!!! Go ask them for a referral fee!!

Alamak….how to ask?

Just go and ask!! Say you are saving them money already by not going to a headhunter.

So you see, I never even thought about that and that is because I’m just not clever enough. I plucked up the courage to go see my very tall blonde client to ask if I could have a referral fee of 1 month’s salary since, you know, I would be helping them find good talent and since I know them so well as we share the same floor, I know best what they are looking for and to make the right match. Etc etc etc.

I wasn’t expecting anything at all but they said sure! Fuckkkkkk!!!! I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy!!! 1 month’s salary could have been just a free RM30,000 in my bank account just for finding someone!!! OK, it’s not RM30 million, but to a young single almost 30 year old, that was a neat sum for shopping.

Had I not casually mentioned it to my friend, bless him, I would have lost that cool opportunity. Opportunities are everywhere. It only needs some training to make your mind think in a positive way to make it become sharp enough to see them everywhere.

Yet sometimes it can become a bad thing, being an opportunist. This is when you have no moral compass and become ruthless in your operations and actions in getting what you want. That, I do not agree with. Many people have been opportunists with me and I have allowed it to slide. I am already blessed as it is, so I close one eye and allow them to earn behind my back.

So my little T2 of late, has been ever the opportunist!!! We go for movies every week (unless there is absolutely NOTHING to watch) and she is a little minx who just loves making our lives difficult in not wanting to watch ANY movie because she says she’s scared as it’s dark and loud.

No matter if Daddy holds me, it’s still dark and loud!!!

Come on. For someone who has watched the entire Harry Potter movie series like only a thousand times, don’t tell me even Big Hero 6 will freak you out? She puts on her pity face and whimpers her damsel in distress voice so we immediately offer her a small brown packet of M&Ms if she would just watch the movie with us. We’ve done that a few times now and she has enjoyed every movie, OK!?!

So this week, we went to watch Into The Woods which admittedly was potentially scary to young children. Please don’t judge. I’m not a conventional parent. We told T2 and she squealed with frightened eyes, “NO!!!!! I’ve watched the trailers and it’s really scary!!!”

Come on, T2. You can just close your eyes at the scary parts and we’ll close your ears. 

Suddenly she springs an idea. “How about if I get a toy and M&Ms??”

Now, THAT’S called being an opportunist.

At home, she has 2 spellings and 1 ejaan each week to study for and we will prompt her to do it so she won’t come home with chicken eggs. We never sit at the desk to do this. It’s always fun and games as it should be. A different approach each time. And the bugger, she would automatically ask if she could have a piece of chocolate every single time after she finishes memorising all her words of the week!!! Bloody hell.

So is it good being an opportunist? Certainly it is. When life is down and everything seems to be coming to the end of the world, only an opportunist will see the opportunity of what a situation could offer. The rest just go into depression, even suicide. Some people have taken advantage of me because I have a following to sell their products easily. I thought nothing of it until again, only an opportunist would identify with incidences like this, I was informed about it. Too late. But it doesn’t matter. I don’t mind being used and abused. It is my calling to serve and serve I do. I am everyone’s servant and very happily so! And I’m working at being an opportunist though really, I’m just not that smart!!!

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