Opportunity means the presence of a chance to prosper or advance in a particular activity in progress. This word is commonly used for encouraging people to work harder by citing the opportunities available for them at the end. The use of the word creates enthusiasm because it promises positive results to the users of the world. Opportunity definition helps the users to understand the different meanings of the word in distinct contexts.
The use of the word opportunity may have contradicting meanings on the minds of the readers of listeners. Therefore, a clear definition of the term needs to be provided to the audience to prevent any chances of misinterpretation (Beck, McKeown & Kucan 2013). Words like chance and opening can be used in place of the word opportunity although they do not exert similar weight on the minds of the users. Opportunity sounds more favorable and likely to happen compared with a chance that may either occur on failing to happen. Therefore, the use of these similar words should be done with great care to avoid giving false promises to the readers or the audience.
Chance can be used in place of opportunity but the speaker or the writers required to give a general description of the message is trying to convey to the readers. This is because the word chance implies the presence of opportunity however, the opportunity tends to arise from luck or it may be accidental. Therefore, the use of the word chance to imply opportunity should be accompanied by additional phrases to show that the occurrence of the particular event is not by luck. For example, if university administrators promise high school students chances of being admitted to the university during career programs, this does not guarantee the students opportunities in the university admissions.
Another word that can closely be linked with the term opportunity is opening. An opening implies that there is a likelihood of joining a desired place or activity. For example, graduates are always eager to find some openings in companies to secure employment opportunities. An opening is closely related to opportunity more than chance because whenever there is an opening there is guaranteed the possibility of success, unlike chances that occur by luck and no surety of success whatsoever. Generally, openings are more favorable than chances because they give out positive results.
The word opportunity should not be confused with the term possibility because they have different meanings. However, they tend to be very confusing terms because in both words there are future expectations that are yet to be achieved (Beck, McKeown & Kucan 2013). The possibility of something happening cannot form the basis of making a conclusion that the aforesaid activity will happen. For example, if a counselor tells his clients that there is a possibility of getting married if they develop trust among one another is not a declaration that trust is the only factor to determine the outcome. Even after the trust is built, the marriage may occur or fail to take place.
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The use of the word opportunity should be strictly based on the relevant context so that the right meaning is derived from the world. The word can be defined in different ways with each definition having a specific understanding by the readers. The definition of the term opportunity in the context of education may be quite different from that in the context of business. In the education setup, the word opportunity is used to motivate the learners to work more hard in their academic endeavors. The students are exposed to the available career opportunities upon completion of their course thus acting as a motivating factor. In this circumstance, the opportunity is real because the students absolutely access those opportunities in the due course hence achieving successful progress and advancement in their career.
Moreover, in the context of business, the use of the word opportunity may be different from that of the educational context. In businesses, investment opportunities are available and investors are made aware of the opportunities through workshops and trade fairs. However, the use of the term opportunity in this context does not guarantee favorable progress or advancement as in the case of education set up. The opportunities may exist but the investors may not reap positive results from the involvement in the opportunity.
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In the context of business operations, the term opportunity is used together with the word cost to form the term opportunity cost that has a different meaning. In business, the opportunity cost is used to mean those benefits that are foregone in order to achieve another goal or benefit. For example, when choosing between two options it is helpful to find out the opportunity cost of selecting one option over the other to determine which option is more beneficial. Although the word opportunity is used to show a quite different meaning, it is close to the formal definition of the word opportunity (Beck, McKeown & Kucan 2013). This is because the opportunity cost is also concerned about the favorable gains achieved from undertaking a particular option.
In conclusion, Opportunity definition helps the users to understand the different meanings of the word in distinct contexts. Given the various meanings of the word opportunity, the users of the word should be in the position of using the term in a specific context to imply the intended meaning in the mind of the readers. The description of the words that are closely related to opportunity as well as those that have quite different meanings enables the readers to distinguish the differences and use the word in a more appropriate manner. It is therefore important to define this word in order to enable the readers to grasp the clear meaning of the word.