Hello, I’m Stacy Pursell. This year, I started my 20th year in executive search, and during that time I’ve learned that there are two kinds of people.

There are those who are OPEN to opportunity and there are those who are NOT open to opportunity. In fact, not only are they not open to it, but they say “No” before they even know what they’re saying “No” to.

When I present an opportunity, I tell the person that by listening, they are only open to hearing about it. They are not committing to it or saying, “Yes, I will resign from my current company and leave tomorrow to take another position.”

All they have to do is listen to the opportunity and decide whether or not they want to move forward. Even if they decide to move forward, they can decide they’re not interested if the opportunity isn’t better than what they have now. The point is that they don’t have to make a decision until they have all of the facts. Then they can make their decision.

In my experience, people who are open to opportunity are typically more successful in their field and their career than those who are not. During my years in executive search, I’ve spoken with thousands of professionals and executives. One of the first questions I ask these individuals is “Are you open to hearing about another opportunity at this time?” The most successful people are the ones who say, “Yes, I am open to opportunities,” and they will also often say, “Tell me what you have.”

Unfortunately, our brains have been programmed to say “No,” sometimes without us even realizing it. But how is this helpful in navigating your career?

It’s not helpful. So when opportunity comes knocking on your door, what will you say? Will you say “No,” or will you say, “Yes, I’m open. Tell me what you have”?