What’s luck got to do with job hunting? Apparently a lot! Richard Wiseman, author of “The Luck Factor,” says some people actually do have all the luck, while others are a magnet for ill fortune.
Luck is not a magical ability or a gift from the gods, instead it is a way of thinking and behaving. Do you consider yourself lucky, neutral, or unlucky? Take a look at this, opportunityisnowhere.
What do you see?
Lucky people see “opportunity is now here.” Unlucky people read it as “opportunity is no where.”
Wiseman, whose best-selling book explores the lives and minds of lucky people, is a professor at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom who has gained recognition for his research into quirky areas of psychology. He identifies four principles of luck.
In reviewing them, I see a direct connection between their application and success when job hunting. Below are Wiseman’s luck principles and my interpretation of how they affect your job hunt:
#1 Maximize your chance opportunities. Wiseman says, “Lucky people create, notice, and act upon the chance opportunities in their lives.” Lucky people interact more with the outside world than do unlucky people.
Lucky people are lucky, in part, because of the number of opportunities to which they avail themselves. They strike up conversations with more people and are more curious and open to others then their less-than-lucky colleagues. In today’s world of work, the more you make yourself available to opportunities, planned and chance, the more likely that you will find that perfect job sooner, rather than later.
One of my clients has a knack for striking up conversations with strangers that have led to opportunities to network over lunch (on the other person, no less), as well as, connections to high level professionals who might otherwise have been out of her immediate reach. Is she lucky – you bet! Every day she is out there making her luck.
#2 Listen to your lucky hunches. Lucky people pay attention to their intuition. Unlucky people often have the same hunches but don’t act upon them. So when the little bell in your brain alerts you to possibilities or offers up a red flag – act on the information. Good luck favors job seekers who are paying attention.
#3 Expect good fortune. Lucky people have positive expectations about the future. This helps them fulfill their dreams and meet their goals.
As a job seeker, expect the best; pre-visualize the outcome you want to achieve. Too many times, job seekers create the outcome they most fear by focusing on it, rather than on their ideal outcome.
Identify the specific outcome you seek at each step of the job search process. When you send off that résumé, imagine the hiring manager calling you for an interview. As you prepare for the first interview, visualize being invited back for the second round interview with the operations manager. Prepare for and expect the best possible outcome. That’s what the lucky people do.
#4 Turn your bad luck into good luck. Lucky people turn bad luck into good fortune by looking for the learning in the experience and then reframing the outcome. How we see things is impacted by the frame we bring to the experience. This is true in life and in a job search. If you have experienced a recent bout of bad luck, check your attitude. Is it one of great expectations or something less?
Think back over your life. Are there events which initially seemed catastrophic but which in retrospect, led to an unexpectedly good outcome?
More than one client has come to me devastated by the loss of a job or angry about a promotion he didn’t get, only to confide to me months later that the experience turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It is the ability to learn, transform and move on with a sense of optimism that impacts the amount of good fortune in your career future.