How to validate opportunities?
There are tons of opportunities available today and not all of them may be great. Some opportunities may be a scam, others may not be deserving of your time and effort. In any case, validating an opportunity and carefully understanding more about it is important before you decide to apply.
One of the key ways to knowing whether an opportunity is good or not is by understanding the organization hosting it. For instance, we all love Baskin Robin ice creams. We know that BR is really good at this. So tomorrow, when BR launches an ice-cream sandwich, chances are that it may be good. And because we trust BR with icecreams, we trust it with the new product too.
Likewise, if the opportunity is being offered by a reputed organisation, chances are that it will be a good one. Along with this, you should also be looking to understand more about the people behind the opportunity. Who are the founders of this? Why are they doing this? What is their vision? Answers to these again will help you assess an opportunity.
While at it, it may also be good to checkout how old the opportunity is. This helps you get an idea of what to expect. Typically, the first few cohorts of most opportunities may be open ended and slightly confusing even because everyone is new to it. But if it has been around for quite some time, then the process and systems would have been laid out well. If the opportunity has been here for quite some time, then how was it all this while? What was the experience of previous participants like? Who do they recommend this opportunity for? Find answers to these questions too.
Checking out the news on whether there is any news about the opportunity might also be a good validation point. If there’s no news about a particular opportunity, then you should at least try and find information about the organisation hosting it and also the specific people behind it.
Finally, take references. Understanding what the experiences of previous beneficiaries of the opportunity were like, whether or not they’d recommend the opportunity and also who they think the opportunity would be apt for would be helpful in knowing what to expect.
Having said that, we might never be able to truly assess an opportunity. Sometimes, we will know if it was good or bad only once we go through the whole experience. Holding our end of the bargain and doing our research can to a great extent help us stay away from traps and time-wasters. But there may be exceptions!
How do you find all this information? for starters, begin looking at the official website of the opportunity and check the ‘About Us’ or ‘Vision’ pages. These pages typically detail about the program and the organisers. Then from there, go on to read more about the organisation and team behind it. You can also use google extensively in this regard. We’ve detailed how to do this in the upcoming section on ‘Research’. Do read that up!