How Important is Luck to Your Career

You have probably heard this a dozen times, but no matter how many times you try, you never really understand what it means. I am talking about the phrase ‘you make your own luck’, which is almost contradictory in itself. I mean, how can you make your own luck if you cannot control it?

Abraham Lincoln once said ‘the harder I work the luckier I get’ which only leads to one conclusion; you can make your own luck by putting yourself in a position to succeed. So how important is luck to your career? Well, that depends on…how hard you work?

The most effective way to find out how luck can work as a driving force for achieving more in your career is by looking at what you are doing to help you maximise your chances of success. So the only way to achieve professional growth using luck is to look at the actions you perform every day that get you closer to your goal.

A Lucky Network

Let’s take networking for example. Since almost 70 percent of jobs are found through networking, it is clear that luck has an essential role to play in your job search. In fact, connecting with someone you don’t know on LinkedIn is almost as likely to happen as meeting someone at networking event and offering you a job.

Why do you think professional networks such as LinkedIn have become so popular for job seekers? Networking is luck and luck is networking. You never know whose online profile you are going to stumble upon while you are surfing the net – potentially a recruiter’s, or who you are going to meet at the next careers event. This is just an example of both initiative and luck working together as you take your first steps to get active on social media.

Luck is the Cherry on Top

Some people argue that luck isn’t as important as having the skills and going the extra mile. While these two elements are extremely important to success, luck is the cherry on the top of the cake. A cake which requires a lot of hard work and dedication. As Rick Smith says on Forbes, “career success is the result of both controllable action and skill and also a strong dose of luck”. So basically, you have to put in a lot of hard work before luck will find you.

On the other hand, professor, psychologist, (and ex-magician) Richard Wisemanbook author of the book “The Luck Factor” contends that luck is distinct from talent, effort and intelligence arguing that good fortune comes from your attitude and behavior.

In fact, while examining the traits of a group of people who considered themselves lucky, he found out that you are more likely to make the most of your life when you are doing these things:

  1. Maximise chance opportunities and take action upon those opportunities when they arise.
  2. Listen to your intuition and only choose to do work that fits well with your intuitive abilities.
  3. Expect to be lucky and go into the world hoping for a positive outcome.
  4. Be flexible enough to turn an ill fortune to a positive experience and always have control of a situation.

Wiseman says that you can ‘create you own luck’, but he argues that you need to be open to new experiences, use your intuition, be flexible and optimistic and be able to see the good side in failures – because even misfortunes can lead to something good in the least expected way.

See Also: 5 Hidden Job Opportunities for Artists

Either way you look at it, luck can boost your career prospects; by introducing you to a person who will help you advance your career or by getting you in the right place at the right time. However, it is also important that you improve your luck at every chance you get by networking and keeping yourself active.

Becoming successful in your career isn’t purely based on luck. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know what you think in the comments section below…