How to Get Lucky In Your Career

Do you believe some people are just luckier than others when it comes to finding a great job or getting promoted on the job? clover

Noted Psychologist, Richard Wiseman, who studies luck says “Luck is not a magical ability or a gift from the gods … it is a way of thinking and behaving.” Dr. Wiseman said we don’t often realize it but about 90% of what happens to us is based on our thinking and 10% is by chance.  In his article How to Get Lucky Ben Sherwood on Oprah.com, writes about an experiment Dr. Wiseman did with two people in the exact same circumstance to see who was luckier.  The experiment is excerpted here:

Dr. Wiseman “recruited a pair of test subjects, Martin and Brenda (their names have been changed). Martin described himself as lucky; Brenda insisted that she was not. Wiseman asked them to go, at different times, to a coffee shop near his university, ostensibly to meet someone else involved in the research project; in reality, they were going to be exposed to identical ‘chance’ opportunities.

Of course the setup was rigged. First, Wiseman had taped a crisp £5 note to the sidewalk outside the coffee shop. Next, he’d planted actors at each of the four tables inside. One of the plants was a ‘millionaire’; the others were not. Each was instructed to behave in exactly the same way.

Walking up to the store, Martin immediately spotted the money on the sidewalk and picked it up. He ordered coffee and took a seat next to the millionaire. After introducing himself and offering to buy a round of coffee, Martin found himself engaged in spirited conversation with the man; soon they were exploring the possibility of doing business together.

Brenda, on the other hand, marched right past the money without noticing it. She bought her coffee and sat down next to the millionaire, but they didn’t exchange a word.

Later, when asked to describe his day, Martin reported that he’d been very lucky, finding £5 and meeting an interesting businessman. Brenda’s report: It was an uneventful morning.

‘Same opportunities,’ Wiseman says. ‘Different lives.’

So why did Martin and Brenda have such different experiences? ‘Lucky people create, notice, and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives,’ Wiseman notes.  If luck means being in the right place at the right time, he adds, ‘being in the right place at the right time is actually all about being in the right state of mind.”

In my own career and as I’ve coached professionals to find jobs they love, get promoted and succeed in the jobs they have, one strategy stands out.  It is the willingness to see, create and take advantage of opportunities.  If you’re feeling stuck, in a rut or unlucky like Brenda above, it can be hard to see opportunities or to have the confidence to create them.  That’s when it’s helpful to have a coach or mentor on your team to help you see and figure out how to take advantage of lucky opportunities that may be right in front of you.

What do you think makes you lucky in your career? I’d love your comment.  Contact me to help you find your lucky career opportunity for greater satisfaction and happiness in your work.  Initial consultations are always complimentary.