How Luck Plays an Awesome Role in Your Career Success or Failure

Tap the luck that’s waiting for you

You’ve been thinking about changing jobs for a long time.

You want to be happier in your career and you’re on the verge of making a change.


You keep hearing these incredible stories about those “lucky ones.”

You know, the lucky people who land these fantastic jobs right away or amazing opportunities come to them “out of the blue”?

You don’t know how they do it, but you want a piece of that. You want to get Lady Luck or a lucky leprechaun to smile upon you too!

As a someone who’s worked for over a decade to help professionals increase their career luck, happiness, and life satisfaction, I’ve seen tons of “luck” happen in my client’s lives.

It’s easy to see, right off the bat, who will be lucky and who will struggle or even fail in making their career upgrades or transitions.

“Everyone’s lucky. Few are prepared.” — Mike Dooley

The “lucky ones” know how to play what I call the inner game of luck, finding that job that fits them perfectly and makes them happy on a daily basis.

What is the Inner Game of Luck?

If you can say, “I AM ready,” and feel the commitment of that statement echo all the way down to your toes, you’ve taken the first step.

If you’re hemming, hawing, or conducting a job search that someone else is pushing you to do, you’re setting yourself up for delays or even failure.

Vacillation means you’re not fully there yet. If you’re not sure about what job to pursue or whether to go for a change, promotion, or transition now or not, you’re not totally committed to your success.

New opportunities appear when there is no equivocation. When the strength of your desire and conviction sends a strong message.

A message that confirms that you’re willing to let go of what no longer serves you, that you’ll take a chance, believe, and get into action to find that something better that is out there for you.

That you’re willing to make space for something new. (You know it’s impossible to make space for something new when you’re holding on to the old, or looking back into the past, right?)

Being hesitant about letting go of your current situation, being uncertain about what you want, or what to do, causes ambiguity. Confusion reigns. When ambiguity, confusion, and doubt are in charge, it blocks the flow of luck to you.

Luck Follows An Unobstructed Path

Luck comes in when there’s nothing in the way. That’s why it’s important to clear a path for new ideas and lucky opportunities to come your way.

One way to remove what’s obstructing your success is to give voice to your fears or misguided beliefs so they can take a hike.

One way to do this is to talk to a trusted friend, or a career coach like me who is trained to help you explore, navigate, and remove what’s keeping you stuck. Walking an unobstructed path means you don’t waste time, and your efforts can be fruitful.

Up Your Enthusiasm

The best thing to do before jumping in and starting your job search is to get some clarity about what you want.

Clients I’ve worked with who have discovered what they were born to do get excited. “That’s it, that’s what I want to do!” they say.

Along with their excitement comes enthusiasm. Enthusiasm builds momentum. It’s catching. Excitement, enthusiasm and openness help you see opportunities that you may not have otherwise seen.

Lose the Doubt

I had a friend who knew a lot about luck. He won, and won big, at the slot machines. He never doubted that he would win. I sat at the slot machine next to him with sweaty palms fretting over how much money I was losing. He, on the other hand was calm, cool, clear.

He was there to enjoy the experience whether he won or lost.

He was thrilled with whatever winnings Lady Luck brought his way.

I’m convinced this attitude of not being attached to the outcome brought him even more luck. It enabled him to stay in the flow of good fortune, never nervous, desperate, or trying to psych out the machines (like I was!).

Opportunities Abound, Watch for Them

We all have the capacity to generate good fortune.

The only difference between lucky and unlucky people, according to Richard Wiseman, Ph.D. (author of The Luck Factor, Arrow Books, 2003), is “lucky people create, notice, and act upon the chance opportunities in their life.”

Being lucky, he says, is a way of thinking and behaving.

An experiment Dr. Wiseman conducted with Martin and Brenda emphasizes this point.

He told each of them to go to a coffee shop. They were to sit at a designated table, drink their coffee, then leave.

On his way in, Martin saw a £5 note on the sidewalk (placed there by the experimenters). He picked it up. Inside the shop, he bought his coffee, sat next to a business man at the designated table, offered to buy him a cup of coffee, and struck up a conversation with him.

Brenda was so focused on completing her task she walked into the coffee shop without noticing, or picking up the £5 note on the sidewalk.

She ordered her coffee, sat next to the business man at the designated table, and didn’t say a word.

When Martin and Brenda were interviewed about the lucky and unlucky events of their day, Martin excitedly explained how he found £5 and had a fruitful chat with a successful businessman. Brenda said her day was uneventful.

This shows how two people who had the same opportunities experienced very different outcomes.

Generate Your Good Fortune

According to Dr. Wiseman, lucky people behave in ways that generate good fortune:

  • When things go awry, they don’t dwell on it.
  • They attempt to achieve their goals, even if their chances of success seem slim, and they persevere in the face of failure.
  • They see opportunities that other people don’t see, largely because they’re open to possibilities.
  • They are skillful at creating, noticing, and acting upon chance opportunities.
  • They follow their instincts, intuition, and gut.
  • They expect good fortune.

Want More Luck In Your Career?

Get clear. Release what’s holding you back. Don’t dwell on things that go awry. Consciously be aware of those lucky opportunities that are waiting for you.

According to Dr. Wiseman, luck and serendipity smile on those who take a relaxed approach to life, like clarifying a long term goal and then not getting caught up in the task of getting there (like Brenda did in the experiment above by focusing so much on getting the task done she missed opportunities, or like I did focusing on how much I could lose at the slot machines).

Make the magic of happenstance work to bring you greater luck and happiness in your career. To get clarity and direction, contact me about creating your Career Success Map.

Linda Hardenstein, MPA, PCC is a certified coach and accomplished career strategist with extensive experience helping hundreds of professionals to find their authentic career path. She provides the tools you need to make your job more satisfying job, to up your energy, and to achieve your career and life goals.


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