Push Your Luck to Land a Job!

by Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

“Some people have all the luck!” Is this just an old saying or is there any truth to the perspective when applied to getting a job? Believe it or not, there are actions you can take to both increase your chances of “getting lucky” and to maximize the value from “lucky breaks.”

Creating Opportunities

Most people try to stack the odds in their favor throughout their lives, but even basic decisions can have a ripple effect on your career down the road. Critical contacts developed through networking are a prime example of tipping the scales in your favor when it comes to your job search. Internships, workshops, college, and volunteer work are all great examples of opportunities to stack the odds in your favor. You may meet a CEO who is involved in the same community group as part of their corporate philanthropic initiative. Perhaps an important contact is also a member of your college alumni group. Expanding your network through professional development helps to broaden the opportunities available to you in your job search.

Recognizing Opportunity

The ability to spot an opportunity is a key skill in determining your ability to take advantage of lucky breaks. This skill may require a shift in your mindset or your approach to goals in order to realize the benefits of a great stroke of luck. For example, if you have decided to pursue a professional certification, but an incredible opportunity to work with a key player at your dream corporation comes up, are you so focused on your current plan that you don’t even see the opportunity? Remain open to possibilities to recognize unexpected chances.

Maximizing Good Luck

Making the difficult decision to change your plans in the face of a great opportunity is one strategy to take advantage of good luck, although doing so is not risk-free. Using the previous example, do you play it safe and decline the opportunity in order to complete the certification? While there is no right answer to this scenario, do consider how you might respond so you’ll be prepared to act on similar opportunities in your career path.

Trusting what feels right for you, pushing forward with certainty, and making an investment of your time and energy are the hallmarks of professional passion. If you are clear on what you want for yourself, you have already set the foundation to create and maximize your opportunities.

Minimizing the Effects of Bad Luck

Bad things happen to everyone. Throughout your own career, you can probably identify a few lost opportunities, instances of bad luck, or poor timing. Having a “Plan B” is one factor in minimizing the effects of career events that may be out of your control. The “prepared mind” is another important tool in being able to productively respond to unexpected bad luck. For example, being prepared with alternate versions of your resume that emphasize different skill sets is one way of moving forward from a setback.


Of course, it still takes hard work to capitalize on opportunities and lucky breaks. Much of that hard work is in the form of education and training. Clarifying your goals and establishing a direction for your career are important components to help you stay on track, but you must also identify what chances you are willing to take when the perfect opportunity presents itself. Talk to people in your network about your ideal job. Not only will this networking create opportunities, but it also helps you crystallize your own goals and vision for your future. When you feel certain of your own direction, it is much easier to persist.

Mobilize all the tools available to you to increase your chances that a lucky break will come your way! Create opportunities in your career search and you may become one of those people who have all the luck in landing your next job.