It was the summer of 1999 and every company was panicked about the "Y2K" computer bug. The bug was due to the year switching from 1999 to 2000 and most computer programs only used two-digit years. Rather than a program recognizing "00" as the year 2000, the program would interpret it as 1900. This was a major problem for banks that calculate interest rates based on dates, airlines generating tickets (not many flights back in 1900), and a host of other industries. It had the computer programmers of the world in a frenzy.
That summer, I was 17, just finished my junior year of high school, and was looking for work. I heard this company was hiring an intern for the summer to go around and run a Y2K check on hundreds of computers. None of the current employees wanted to do it - it wasn't going to be glamorous work. I had an interest in computers, enjoyed tinkering with them, and was curious about the job, so I applied. I didn't think I was going to get a call for an interview - turns out I got the job.
That summer internship turned into my current career. I moved from an intern to a field analyst, then the Team Lead, and for the last several years I have been in management.
The problem that no one else wanted to deal with over 20 years ago turned out to be the huge opportunity for me. It turned into an opportunity for me to pay for college, start a family, buy a home, and build my life. It turned into my current adventure.
This taught me to always look for new opportunities when faced with a problem. We often see problems as only that: a problem. If we change our view of that problem and look for opportunities, we might find our next career - our next adventure.
There will always be problems or challenges no one else wants to deal with. Hidden in the shadows is an opportunity someone will find.
The next time you are faced with a problem, don't turn away.
Look for the opportunity. Look for your next adventure.