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How To Create Your Own Good Luck
Luck. Can it actually be created? Or is luck an artificial phenomenon programmed into our minds as a cloak of chance and fortune.
Professor Richard Wiseman thinks that we can be actively responsible for creating our own luck by the way we view the world: "Unlucky people tend to be creatures of routine. They tend to take the same route to and from work and talk to the same types of people at parties. In contrast, many lucky people try to introduce variety into their lives."
Sometimes, the people on the uphill slog can get a fast track. They can find the mystical four-leafed clover and hop on an express train to the loot. Believe it or not, we all have the ability to cultivate these clovers along our own paths. It's knowing how, when and what to do.
For most people, what we do for a living is fundamental for our happiness. We spend more time at work than we do at home. So it's essential that we find a job we love. A difficult task in today's age.
More and more students are coming out of education with qualifications bursting from their seams, yet they struggle to get a job in their mastered profession. Scientists working in supermarkets, Lawyers pulling pints and professional Chefs grafting in McDonalds (that would explain my exceptional McChicken meal last week). So unlocking that door to your career path can sometimes take more than just certificates and academia. It can take luck.
The graph above demonstrates how graduates in the UK are still only showing a 50/50 ratio of landing themselves a degree-related career after leaving education. The reason for this can come down to lack of jobs and opportunities, but also a lack of luck. Seeing the ideal job advertised on an alternative job board, hearing about a job from a friend of a friend etc. all present contributing factors. So luck can be manifested through taking steps to increase our chances of things happening. Speaking to new people, browsing more job boards, generally mixing things up a little.
Just like the film Sliding Doors, everyday decisions we make can have huge impacts on our futures. Think of the whole 'stone-in-a-pond' ripple effect. One of my close friends met a girl (who would later become his wife) at a random steakhouse which he decided to visit after his train was delayed.
Had his train not been delayed, had she not been visiting friends, had he not been as spontaneous, then he might not be married today. But, even though there are clearly a number of factors involved here, the fact that he was actively part of making it happen shows that luck can be controlled by ourselves at times.
Unlocking that door to your career path can sometimes take more than just certificates and academia. It can take luck.
Okay so I get the whole luck idea, now how can I use that to land me the job I want? Below is a selection of points and steps that you can take in order to optimise your job search and get lady luck well and truly on your side.
Start to mix up your habits and routines (places you go to, people you see, using new social media to connect with people).Reinvent your online self. Being prepared for luck is half the battle, so make sure your LinkedIn profile, your CV, your websites are all up to date, professional and easily accessible. You never know who may stumble across them by chance.If you believe in lucky charms then take yours everywhere with you.
Knowing you have that charm tucked away in your pocket at an interview can have a huge effect on how you perform.Try new things. Kind of related to point 1, but if you have the choice to take a different route home then take it for a change. Try new foods you've never had, take up a new hobby. You never know who you might meet in that new circle of people.
The Final Word
I guess the overall point is to be prepared for luck, so when it happens you can grasp it with both hands. You can make luck something that is more likely to happen to you by having a much more spontaneous and creative outlook on life.
Finding that dream job or getting into your perfect career isn't as hard as you might think. You're better taking a risk and starting at the bottom of a career ladder that you want to climb, rather than being halfway up one you don't. The only way to do this is to take calculated risks, mix it up and make your own luck. After all, variety is the spice of life.
Written by Jon Clarke