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Opportunity vs. Chance: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 16, 2023
Opportunity refers to a favorable situation for achieving something, while chance denotes a possibility or probability, often random or unplanned

Key Differences

Opportunity implies a situation that presents a favorable chance for action or advancement. It is often associated with preparation meeting the right circumstances. Chance, however, relates more to randomness or the likelihood of something happening, without the implication of a strategic advantage or preparation.
An opportunity is usually something you can actively prepare for or seek out. It often involves making deliberate choices to capitalize on it. In contrast, chance is often beyond one's control and can happen unexpectedly, relying more on luck or external factors.
In the context of career or personal growth, opportunities are seen as openings or situations that can lead to progress or success. They are often created or facilitated by individual effort. Chance, in this context, could refer to a random occurrence that might also lead to success but is not created through personal effort or strategy.
Opportunities are often associated with positive outcomes and are sought after, as they can lead to significant improvements or benefits. Chance is more neutral and can result in a range of outcomes, from positive to negative, depending on the circumstances and luck.
In decision-making, taking an opportunity usually involves a calculated risk, where the potential benefits are weighed against possible downsides. Taking a chance is often seen as riskier, as it might involve a higher level of unpredictability and less certainty about the outcome.

Comparison Chart


A favorable situation for achieving something.
The possibility or probability of something happening.


Often can be created or influenced by actions.
Generally random or beyond one's control.


Linked with preparation and strategic planning.
Associated with luck or randomness.

Outcome Orientation

Aimed at positive outcomes and success.
Neutral, with a range of possible outcomes.

Risk Level

Calculated risk with potential benefits.
Often involves higher unpredictability.

Opportunity and Chance Definitions


Opportunity refers to a chance for advancement or progress.
The job fair presented an excellent opportunity for networking.


Chance refers to the possibility of something happening.
There is a good chance of rain tomorrow.


Opportunity often involves the potential for positive change.
The new policy created an opportunity for small business growth.


Chance can imply a random or unpredictable event.
Winning the lottery is a matter of chance.


Opportunities are situations where goals can be pursued successfully.
He took the opportunity to present his ideas to the team.


A chance can be an opportunity, but with an element of risk or uncertainty.
He took a chance on a new business venture.


An opportunity is a favorable circumstance for achieving a goal.
She saw the scholarship as an opportunity to study abroad.


Chance also denotes an occurrence without planning or intention.
The discovery was made by chance during a routine experiment.


An opportunity is an opening that offers a chance for improvement.
The company's expansion created an opportunity for promotions.


Chance involves the likelihood or probability of occurrences.
By chance, she met her old friend at the mall.


A favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances.


The unknown and unpredictable element in happenings that seems to have no assignable cause.


A chance for progress or advancement, as in a career.


A force assumed to cause events that cannot be foreseen or controlled; luck
Chance will determine the outcome.


Can chance lead to opportunity?

Yes, sometimes a random chance can result in an opportunity for success or progress.

What is an opportunity?

An opportunity is a favorable situation or set of circumstances for progress or achievement.

How is chance defined?

Chance refers to the likelihood or probability of something occurring, often randomly.

Is chance the same as luck?

Chance and luck are closely related, with luck being the favorable outcome of random chances.

How can one identify an opportunity?

Opportunities can be identified by assessing situations for potential positive outcomes and advancements.

How do opportunities arise?

Opportunities can arise from specific circumstances, efforts, or preparations.

Can one create their own opportunities?

Yes, through effort, planning, and making strategic choices, one can create opportunities.

How can one increase their chances of success?

By preparing, planning, and making informed decisions, one can increase their chances of success.

Are opportunities always positive?

While opportunities are generally seen as positive, they can sometimes lead to challenges.

Is taking a chance riskier than seizing an opportunity?

Generally, yes, because chance involves more unpredictability compared to a calculated opportunity.

Are chances always random?

Mostly, as they often imply a lack of control over the outcome.

Can taking a chance be beneficial?

Yes, sometimes taking a chance can lead to unexpected positive outcomes.

Is seizing an opportunity always a good decision?

Not always; it depends on the risk involved and the potential benefits.

Is it better to rely on chance or create opportunities?

Creating and seizing opportunities is generally more reliable and productive than relying on chance.

Can chance be calculated or predicted?

Some chances can be estimated using probabilities, but many are unpredictable.

How does one take advantage of a chance?

By being open to possibilities and willing to take risks, one can take advantage of chance occurrences.

Do businesses rely more on chance or opportunity?

Businesses generally rely more on identifying and seizing opportunities rather than leaving things to chance.

Are there techniques to create opportunities?

Yes, techniques like networking, skill development, and staying informed can create opportunities.

Can one control chances?

Chances are often beyond control, but one can influence how to respond to them.

How important is timing in seizing opportunities?

Timing can be crucial, as opportunities often require timely action to be beneficial.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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