Planned happenstance refers to using unplanned events to generate career opportunities. Career theorist John Krumboltz first developed this theory after observing that indecision in career development actually gave the opportunity to his clients to benefit from unplanned events. In this regard, planned happenstance supports the idea that chance events can play a significant part in people’s career events throughout their lives and determine success.
But how can we use planned happenstance to find a job?
The real question is how exactly planned happenstance works. The answer is quite simple. Planned happenstance can help you get a job by maximising events such as unanticipated encounters and unexpected phone calls through connecting with people on your own or through networking events. This means that you need to take the appropriate steps that will generate the opportunity for chance events.
So, for example if you are attending a career fair, speak to someone who’s a key figure in the field you are interested in or works for one of the companies you want to send your application to. Then consider other possible opportunities for action such as asking for more information and following up the meeting. To help you do that, while you are there try to think about how you can benefit from the event.
Along with having that in your mind, retaining the right attitude is essential. The following 5 personal characteristics can help you make use of potential opportunities and ultimately increase your chances of landing a job:
#1 Curiosity – explore new things and learning opportunities, be curious about your interests.
#2 Persistence – stay true to your goals despite potential obstacles in your way.
#3 Flexibility – be open-minded, resourceful and flexible, come up with original ideas.
#4 Optimism – identify possible opportunities and maximise benefits from unplanned events.
#5 Risk-taking – take risks wherever possible since lack of action provides no new opportunities.
Your career development is not built out of luck, instead requires a mix of these three elements; preparation, persistence, and hard work. Without a doubt, networking and creating opportunities for yourself will take you where you want to be. So, make sure you are being active and that you take advantage of available resources whether that’s called a careers fair, a professional conference, an online forum or LinkedIn.
How are you going to maximise your chances of finding a job? Let us know your thoughts leaving your comments below.