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Seize the moment—and network

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The best jobs rarely land in your lap. You must open doors that lead to greater opportunity.

Case in point: Stan Kasten, who has run three professional sports teams in Atlanta—the Braves (baseball), the Hawks (basketball) and the Thrashers (hockey). How did the 49-year-old get started in these dream jobs?

In 1976, Kasten was vacationing in St. Louis where the Cardinals were playing the Braves. He knew that Ted Turner had just bought the Braves, although this was before Turner won the America’s Cup and became a household name.

During the game, Kasten saw Turner seated near the Braves dugout. He waited until the game ended, walked right up and introduced himself.

“No one knew Ted Turner back then,” Kasten told Business Week. “In that 5 or 10 minutes, we hit it off. Ted gave me his card and told me to write when I got home.”

He did, and Turner offered him a job a few weeks later. How did Kasten make such a strong first impression?

“I was … willing to work hard and cheap at a time he didn’t know exactly what he needed.”

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