Thursday, July 25, 2013

Create Your Own Luck!

When I was promoted seven times in seven years (with the pay raises to go with each promotion), there was one person in my life who would always tell me how lucky I was. When I was offered a better job just days after my office closed down, more people told me how lucky I was. All my life people have told me that I am lucky with jobs.

I’m not lucky though – I create my own luck.

When it comes to achieving jobs and careers, luck is not one of the criteria. Luck is what you have when you gamble. Luck is what you have when you’re in a foot race and your competitor trips over his shoe laces five feet from the finish line. Luck is what you have when you get sold-out tickets to the concert that everyone in the city wants to see. Luck is not what you have when you get the career you want, receive a promotion or avoid losing your job in a group layoff.

If you want to create your own “luck” with jobs and careers, you need to stand out amongst your competition. What is your best quality? You need to make that shine, because there are likely a hundred other people applying for that job that have that same quality. If you want to create your own “luck” with your career, you need to be different than the hundreds of other employees at your place of employment.

How can you do that?

  • Instead of just doing your job well, be the best. Work hard to stand out by going above and beyond what is expected of you. Don’t just stop at “enough” – go a little bit further than you know everyone else will.
  • Don’t be afraid of challenges. Do your research and take on challenges that others are afraid of.
  • Offer to work on teams and don’t be afraid of taking the leadership role. Many people are afraid of being the leader. But if you are prepared, know your material, and do your research, anyone is capable of being a good leader.
  • Make suggestions. Well thought out and well presented suggestions are always welcome.
  • Take criticism well. You’re not going to do every job perfectly, so when you get constructive criticism, take it seriously and do everything possible to apply suggestions and find ways to improve.
  • Keep learning. Even if there is not a promotion sitting in front of you, learn skills that can apply to your job. Take classes, go to workshops, and pick new information that can benefit your job.

Create your own job “luck” and soon everyone will be telling you how lucky you are too. But you’ll know that you did it yourself.
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