What Does Luck Have to Do With Career Success?

This week marks Saint Patrick’s Day, so here at Angel HQ we’ve been thinking about luck.

When it comes to careers the idea of the ‘lucky break’ has taken on almost mythical status, so how do you get the ‘luck of the Irish’ and make sure opportunity knocks at your door?

From Carpenter to Hollywood Actor

Think Harrison Ford’s intergalactic leap from wannabe actor and carpenter to starring as Han Solo in Star Wars, for example.

Well, things weren’t quite so black and white. In fact the future Indiana Jones had played a small part in Francis Ford Coppola’s American Graffiti. Who else was involved? That’s right, a pre-Star Wars George Lucas.

So, Ford took the opportunity to stand in for screen tests when Lucas was auditioning for his future blockbuster.

“I had helped George Lucas audition other actors for the principle parts, and with no expectation or indication that I might be considered for the part of Han,” Ford said. “I was quite surprised when I was offered the part.”

Doing What It Takes

In short, Harrison Ford wasn’t just going about being a carpenter hoping his acting dreams would come to some sort of magical fruition, he was doing what he could to get to know his craft and network with people in the know – even if that meant being a stand in.

The Luck Factor

In fact, Dr Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor reckons those with so-called charmed lives naturally use four basic principles to create their good fortune.

One of these principles is maximising chance opportunities. Meaning: people create, notice and act upon chance opportunities that come their way. Think Harrison Ford above.

Creating Chance Opportunities

How can you create more chance opportunities in your career and life? Try:

Networking more – see Harrison Ford above

And,

Being open to new experiences – oh, and see Harrison Ford above.

Don’t Wait Till You’re Ready

Do something today which will take you a step further to where you want to go. Whether it’s take a course, stepping up to take on an opportunity that scares you a bit or signing up as a candidate with a job agency, like Angel.

You might not feel ready. In fact, many of us never feel ready, but the key is to do the groundwork, show up, cultivate an eye for opportunity and answer the door when those opportunities come knocking.

Any particular issues or insights on luck? Ever had a lucky break? How did it come about? Need help with your job search? Let us know!

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