Charms don’t work

You have to cre­ate your own ca­reer luck

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FRONT PAGE -


St. Pa­trick’s Day is also one of the many cul­tural tra­di­tions that is widely associated with the con­cept of good luck. Some peo­ple who are seek­ing good luck go so far as to con­duct spe­cial lucky rit­u­als or to carry tal­is­mans such as a four-leaf clover, a lucky penny, a rab­bit’s foot or a small horse­shoe on a chain. The whole pur­pose of these lucky charms is an at­tempt to con­trol one’s fate through at­tract­ing good luck while pro­vid­ing pro­tec­tion from bad luck or some form of evil.

So, how does the con­cept of luck ap­ply to ca­reer suc­cess? Are some peo­ple sim­ply lucky in life and ca­reer while oth­ers are not? Will a spe­cial lit­tle ri­tual im­me­di­ately prior to a job in­ter­view en­sure good luck? Will car­ry­ing that Ir­ish penny bring you a highly cov­eted pro­mo­tion? I don’t think so. Lucky charms or tal­is­mans aren’t enough. In­stead, de­vel­op­ing “ca­reer luck” re­quires a con­sis­tent spe­cial ef­fort. The fol­low­ing 12 ca­reer prin­ci­ples will help you to cre­ate that spe­cial ca­reer luck.

1. Cre­ate a broad theme goal — Lucky peo­ple fo­cus on broader ca­reer goals than sim­ply a spe­cific job. This al­lows for mul­ti­ple skill de­vel­op­ment that pro­vides en­try into a va­ri­ety of ca­reers all within the same skill theme. It gives peo­ple more choices that in the end will cre­ate en­hanced op­por­tu­nity for job sat­is­fac­tion and cre­at­ing and fol­low­ing a ca­reer path in the long term.

2. Fo­cus on a pos­i­tive attitude — Lucky peo­ple are happy peo­ple who see things from a pos­i­tive point of view and ex­pect good things to hap­pen. Lucky peo­ple also rec­og­nize the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing their pos­i­tive mind­set and uti­lize spe­cific tac­tics to avoid self-sab­o­tage. En­gag­ing in de­lib­er­ate pos­i­tive self-talk helps to quickly iden­tify and erase neg­a­tiv­ity and twisted think­ing from their mind. 3. Keep dreams re­al­is­tic — Lucky peo­ple build their dreams around re­al­ity. They know them­selves well and they un­der­stand their skills and

ca­pa­bil­ity. As well, they ac­knowl­edge and un­der­stand the po­ten­tial ca­reer ob­sta­cles ahead of them and make plans to over­come them, re­sult­ing in re­al­is­tic ca­reer goals.

4. Adopt a sense of per­sis­tence — Lucky peo­ple quickly put per­sonal set­backs be­hind them. They know there is al­ways more than one way to achieve a goal. Their mind au­to­mat­i­cally goes to plan­ning how to go over, un­der and/or around the bar­ri­ers that con­front them.

5. Take ad­van­tage of ev­ery op­por­tu­nity — Lucky peo­ple have a good sense of what is go­ing on around them. They are strate­gic thinkers who are sen­si­tive to how one change in the work­place might cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties oth­ers might not think of. They then cre­ate op­tions on how to take ad­van­tage of these op­por­tu­ni­ties. In ad­di­tion, they ea­gerly vol­un­teer for as­sign­ments and ac­cept spe­cial projects.

6. Learn ef­fec­tive de­ci­sion mak­ing — Lucky peo­ple are good prob­lem solvers and de­ci­sion mak­ers. They look at a prob­lem and di­ag­nose it; they brain­storm po­ten­tial so­lu­tions and then se­lect one that is most ad­van­ta­geous to their ca­reer while at the same time pro­vid­ing value to their em­ployer.

7. Get and stay con­nected — Lucky peo­ple sys­tem­at­i­cally de­velop net­works of peo­ple con­nec­tions that en­able them to know what is go­ing on in their work­place, their in­dus­try sec­tor and their com­mu­nity. They take lead­er­ship roles so that they may be the first to know when change and op­por­tu­nity will arise. They be­come a known en­tity to whom oth­ers reach out for help and ad­vice.

8. Take cal­cu­lated ca­reer steps — While lucky peo­ple demon­strate loy­alty to their em­ployer, they are also loyal to their ca­reer. This means al­ways fo­cus­ing on ways and means to in­crease and de­velop skills and move closer to your dream job. They as­sess each op­por­tu­nity by what skills they will learn, who they will meet, and what con­nec­tions they can make.

9. Work hard — Lucky peo­ple de­velop a rep­u­ta­tion for work­ing hard no mat­ter whether they like a par­tic­u­lar task. They be­come known for re­li­a­bil­ity, for flex­i­bil­ity and for the will­ing­ness to tackle and com­plete any task to the high­est qual­ity.

10. Erase the idea of fail­ure — Lucky peo­ple are not afraid to try some­thing new and they are not afraid to fail. In­stead, they see it as a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence; af­ter all, what is the worst that can hap­pen? They ex­am­ine each sit­u­a­tion from a con­struc­tive per­spec­tive, de­ter­mine how to im­prove things the next time and move on with their life. 11. De­velop sup­port­ive re­la­tion­ships — If truth be known, peo­ple rather than money is what re­ally makes the world go around. Know­ing this, lucky peo­ple con­sciously de­velop re­cip­ro­cal re­la­tion­ships in the work­place by help­ing oth­ers and do­ing good deeds with­out think­ing of what is “owed’ to them. They are sim­ply there when needed.

12. Be an ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tor — Lucky peo­ple are well-bal­anced com­mu­ni­ca­tors. They fo­cus on fa­cil­i­tat­ing har­mo­nious work re­la­tion­ships with their co-work­ers and are ef­fec­tive at con­flict man­age­ment. They also en­sure that they be­come good lis­ten­ers as well.

The month of March with its wel­come spring re­newal is def­i­nitely a good time to think about cre­at­ing ca­reer luck. Yet hold­ing on to a spe­cial tal­is­man and wish­ing for suc­cess just won’t be enough. Cre­at­ing ca­reer suc­cess re­quires a con­scious ef­fort, plan­ning and per­sis­tence.

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