Are you professionally lucky? Or do you constantly experience the lack of luck in your career? There are some very concrete ways to identify at which side you are, and what you need to search for in order to bring some more luck in your professional standing.
Luck is the positive side of the coincidence “coin”. Coincidence might come with an ugly face (we call it misfortune); it might come with a big smile (we call it luck). It might be good, it might be tough. It might give you money, it might take you energy. It might make you succeed, it might make you fail.
You shouldn’t worry about luck. It’s (mostly) out of your control. You cannot predefine when it visits you. You cannot influence it (at least not much). You just need to recognize it and accept it, and then prepare yourself to be ready to “tackle” it.
Looking at it from a holistic point of view, there is no such thing as a “full-blown” lucky person. If you are rich you might be ill, if you are young you might be poor etc. Now, being at the same time young, healthy, pretty, rich and nice is not that often…
I suppose you (like me) have met dozens of people who have spent a great part of their lives being (some kind of) lucky but not recognizing it as such, and, consequently, not allocating their status on luck, but on their endless efforts. You know that’s not true, they know that’s not true. But they are blindly stuck in their comfort zone. Don’t lose your time blaming them! Allocate some time to fix YOUR position on the “wheel of luck”.
If you want to know whether you are professionally lucky or not, just start checking below list. Use the same list to conclude whether a new job offering is appropriate for you or not.
The 20 components of professional luck you need to recognize in your career:
- Let’s start with the basics: Being able to work
- Having a job
- Having a boss that “shares” info/knowledge/ thoughts/ experiences/ wins with you
- Earning a decent salary
- Enjoying benefits (like car allowance, private insurance, school fees for your kids, daily meals, gym etc.)
- Avoiding hours of commuting (a huge issue nowadays)
- Working “human” hours (in other words having a respectable work-life balance)
- Liking what you do
- Or, even better, doing what (=a job that) you like
- Seeing yourself developing personally and professionally
- Working in a friendly environment
- Cooperating with people you respect and admire
- Working for a healthy and growing organization
- Receiving regular training
- Learning new things at work
- Obtaining new skills
- Travelling (and getting to know diverse people, cultures, and places)
- Having fun (while working)
- Being recognized for your contribution
- Feeling inspired (oh, that’s a real blessing!)
In case you experience more than 50% of the above factors at your current job, you can call yourself lucky! Just a minute, you might say, why do I not deserve all the above by default? Why should I feel “lucky” for having all those? Well, because enjoying all the above is NOT the rule. On the contrary, NOT having most of them IS the rule. And, you might not be able to have them however hard you try and however good you are. So, being a little grateful for what has happened to you as the combined result of effort (your part of contribution) and coincidence (the world’s part of contribution) is not so overgenerous.
What should you do as a next step? Try to increase your points. The more of the 20 components you have the better off (job wise) you are.
“Your utmost career goal should be to tick as many of the above boxes as possible”
Sometimes, you’ll get one and miss another. It’s ok, don’t worry; you can’t have it all! Just try to have as many as possible.
“Are all of them of the same weight?” you might ask. Well, it depends. It’s different for every person, so do not bother calculating the standard weighted average. There is no standard. Place your own priorities and walk across them.
In case you can tick less than 50% of the above boxes regarding your current job, you can certainly argue that you are not that lucky professionally! But you can change it or at least you can try to change it (=improve it), now that you clearly know where you are heading.
Overcoming lack of luck
In case you have to live without plenty of luck, there are some concrete competencies you have to develop, like resilience, perseverance, patience, positivity in order not to get drowned in depression. These competencies might bring luck or not, but they will absolutely make you feel better.
Wrapping it up
Instead of waiting for mere luck to appear, I would urge you to take your professional destiny in your hands and see what you want to do with it. Worry about what you can influence, and beware that this might be more than you think.
After all, your life’s equation has more than one parameter to fix. Be interested in the important ones. Spend time on the ones you can really control. And keep in mind that long term (professional) success is not proven by how many years one stays “on the top”, but by the duration of her remaining positive waves after she’s gone.
THE USELESS PART OF THE ARTICLE: LUCKY PEOPLE THAT YOU HATE – FORGET ABOUT THEM
Some business people (professionals or entrepreneurs) tend to neglect the “luck” component of their success. Or to put it better, they – on purpose – avoid to accept the decisive contribution of luck in their well-being (professional, personal or whatsoever). This very conscious approach stems from the fact that besides luck they can only add few things based on their capability and effort. Give them your understanding; they would have done much worse, luck not having crossed their way. It is true that luck can cover ignorance, incompetence, inefficiency, but not for long. It will not stay there forever. A day comes when luck “decorations” fade out and the king (or queen) is found naked. This might take many years, though, to be revealed, so keep calm.
As I’m writing this piece, I realize that there are dozens of people (myself included) who feel disappointed for not being as lucky as some others, and even criticize such people from time to time. This creates so much negative energy in our brains and prohibits us from thinking positively and focusing to our own goals. We should stop it asap!
On the other hand, there are also people who had the abilities AND the luck to proceed further with their careers. Let’s feel happy about their success (it could be us, no?) and wish them to act as multipliers of this happy coincidence.