Opportunities – much more than just a paycheck

oppAs students are always looking for the best opportunities to earn a living after completing their studies, one of the discussion topics that always comes up in all the courses I teach is, of course, where are  the places with the best opportunities. Incidentally, as I lived most of my life in USA, people have wondered why I choose to live and work in Asia when according to “most people” the opportunities are greater in the USA. Let’s then, redefine what is an opportunity as many fail to recognize what is the true or entire meaning of the word “opportunity”.

To many individuals, the word opportunity is mostly the paycheck, not accounting for anything else that should be part of it (e.g. the cost of living, safety, crimes and homicide in that location, healthcare coverage, the ease of doing work – not only the ease of finding work, the culture and people you are dealing with, and most of all the quality of life in a certain place or location).

It is why for some people and businesses, working or operating in various places and countries, dealing with certain laws, cultures, people and/or environments it could make all the difference when it comes to any given opportunities. Although in many cases individuals have to live in a certain location physically to take advantage of certain opportunities, the internet has created more and more opportunities for individuals and companies to operate globally without them having to move or migrate to other places or countries. Moreover, opportunities today are highlighted by the fact that an increasing number of smart individuals in 3rd world countries are better off than below average intelligent people in developed countries in picking up opportunities. Take the internet scams for example; most come from 3rd world countries. The idea here is that the “smart” guy has figured out an opportunity to scam gullible individuals in developed countries, even though he’s using it the wrong way. But how is this any different than a country or system which takes advantage of laws, systems, and or the local environment to scam you legally? Of course this is another can of worms, so let’s just stick to opportunities that are moral and ethical for now!

Not long ago, this wasn’t the case. No matter how smart you were, if you happened to be in a certain place or country, you would not be able to accomplish or amount to anything unless you left that place for the ones with more available opportunities (unfortunately many were unable to leave the place or lost their life doing so). Many people that I know have immigrated to USA or other countries before the internet era and for most it’s unquestionable that it made the greatest difference in terms of opportunities, especially in the blue collar jobs area. Many others wanted to immigrate to various places around the world from their native place but could not, and they could only wonder “what if”. Some of them not too much later found out that they were able to “get out” by using even better means, the internet, and are now happy they didn’t go or migrate anywhere, as the internet now brings an opportunity directly to your desk in many instances instead of you having to go chase it physically in some place or country. There are still places in the world where you are doomed if you live there, but for the most part, if you can “get out” using your computer or smart phone, you are likely to run into an opportunity of some kind.

I still wish I could live in California, not because it offers any “opportunity” in particular when compared to other places worldwide but for one simple reason, the weather. However, for many more reasons, especially safety (man induced disasters which I don’t want to detail for the sake of political correctness; natural disasters are a different story and are a big issue in some places) I prefer quite a few other places. Should weather be considered an important aspect/part of an opportunity? If we include some of the Middle East countries that are loaded with opportunities, the weather would make a good case against a good opportunity among other things, especially if there are a number of similar opportunities to choose from worldwide.

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12 Responses to Opportunities – much more than just a paycheck

  1. Based on my opinion, people from developing and developed countries have different definition of opportunity. It may be an opportunity to have greater salary, gain some knowledge or get a stable and decent job. In my country, the Philippines, which is a developing country, people there couldn’t find a job with high salaries in order to support their families, also a huge number of Filipinos don’t have jobs so they really compete with each other plus the job offers are not enough to employ every unemployed Filipinos that’s why some Filipinos are working overseas in the thought of that they could support their families in the Philippines financially. They really don’t mind anymore if they are away from their family as long as they know that they can give their families back in the Philippines a comfortable life. Filipinos grab every opportunity that comes their way especially when they know that they can earn huge money that could help them to alleviate poverty. However, some Filipinos have the skills that can make them excel abroad but they just choose to stay because they don’t want to leave their families behind and some just don’t have the chance to do so. I am not stereotyping all developing countries. I am just speaking for my country which also happens to be a developing country. And as for the developed countries, I don’t intend to offend anybody but for me I think some people leave their home countries because they cannot compete effectively in there. They may have a lot competitors there that are smarter, more skillful, more educated or have greater privilege than them so some people from developed countries move to a place where they can find a good opportunity that they can excel more. It is like they go to a place where they think that they can improve their quality of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yi Hsin Chen says:

    i wandering why people are finding opportunity outside of their home country, i believe gaining experiment is one of the most important point, we stay in our culture, believe, life style, communication with others for too long. We go out sicking for opportunity,on the other hand is mean we are looking for more stuff to learn, to increase our common sense. i believe our professor Dan not coming to Taiwan because money, safety, but also to gain the experiment that USA don’t have. within this experiment you learn, you are much more be able to success in future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dalivis says:

      Actually it’s a long story.. but safety, health insurance, the lack of PC, no gender identity politics and a great public transportation system including the bullet train are big parts of the “opportunities” in Taiwan!


  3. 屠王悦 says:

    Based on my view, I think opportunity is the most important thing in our life, especially in youth. Take my country—China for example. Because China has vast borders, there are numbers of cities in my country, which must leads to different development levels they have. Most of graduates they will seek their first job in first-tier cities(ex. Beijing, Shanghai…)to gain their experiences. I think these first-tier cities is the “opportunity” of teacher mentioned in this article. Although internet is well-developed nowadays, something you will never know unless experienced by yourself. And the materials and total environment is entirely different between advanced cities and general cities, those you won’t realize by surfing the Internet. So, for me opportunity is not only mean the high paycheck, but also the chances of broadening yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. aidazoung says:

    From what my American roommates tell me, there are people who have degrees that could take them anywhere in the world (engineering, masters degrees in education, etc.) but they choose to stay in the states, killing themselves just to pay for rent in a city with an insane cost of living. It doesn’t make sense to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There are always risks and opportunities that need to be controlled when starting a business or job. But who would have thought? Apparently, a great benefit also awaits if we start working in developing countries in Asia.

    Apart from being the largest continent in the world, Asia is the continent with the densest population. Two countries in Asia, in China and Indonesia are ranks of countries with the most populous populations. My country Indonesia sends many migrant workers to various neighboring countries in Asia to work, for example Taiwan. The reason, so they get a permanent job and will increase the income of the population, which also rose to their standard of living.

    With a very large population, consumption demand is also high. You also have the opportunity to market the goods and services that you produce in the wider market and also with various tastes. This increases your chances of getting a job abroad.

    Asia is an area blessed with so much natural wealth. Starting from the agricultural sector, plantations, mining to human resources can easily be found in Asia. Businesses with sophisticated and easy technological innovations are usually a favorite in developing countries in Asia. If we have a chance to work or start a business in another country that means we have opportunities to contribute to improve the lives of many people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dalivis says:

      That’s very true.. Opportunities are springing up worldwide and many of them can bring us a lot more than just a paycheck..


  6. As I know the opportunity is an opportunity because we can take or even look at it but, the opportunity is also time
    Why time? Because it did not come twice. Very trivial indeed but sometimes let us relax an occasion usually regret later, then all opportunities require a decision (a wise decision of course) because the decision determines fate. So an opportunity depends on how people make decisions.
    In fact it is in certain conditions, the emergence of opportunities that may need maturation. We need to wait a moment, but not with a passive attitude. Instead, we wait for the occasion with a vigilant, proactive and readiness attitude.
    Like professor, you have a chance to come to Taiwan. You have a chance to get what you did not know before. Perhaps through this opportunity, you can be more successful in the future.


    • dalivis says:

      This is an excellent point! Certain opportunities come only at certain times or age in your lives no matter where we live or are located, so we better seize the time sensitive opportunities.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. In my opinion, why most people decide to work in another country because they want to add experience not just want to get a higher salary but they want to change their mindset. In addition, may also add some colleagues from other countries. And I think the job opportunities in Asia are also very profitable. Take Japan as an example, Japan is a very fast growing country. Many European who come to japan to find job. Not just job, most of them also come to learn in japan. Actually both in Europe and Asia there are many job opportunities. Depending on each person how they wants to find a job and where they wants to find their job. But most of them just want to add experience and also want to learn the culture in the country where they wants to find a job.


  8. For me, opportunities means new life and only one occasion. If you have one and you had the chance to take .. just take it ! We have just one life and we live things just once !
    Like us, we have an opportunity to go study abroad for one semester, one year or for years and we are very lucky because a lot of people doesn’t can do that !

    The same for the world of work, when someone asks you for a job or internship that interested you in a country that you would like to discover you have to go … I’m not sure this kind of occasions appears many times in a life !

    Study or work abroad can improve your language skills, your maturity, your experience and your sense … you can discover you by this experience !

    There are many opportunities in the entire world, depends on what you search of course ! If you are exigent for a good salary and to have a good life and hope to be rich one day, you should go to America ‘”American Dream” but if you want to discover another culture when you are western you should go to Asia because the culture shocks are the most important but sometimes it’s a good surprise and you can discover something else that you imagined …


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