The Luck of the Job Seeker

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very happy young man in a rain of money “Luck affects everything; let your hook always be cast; in the stream where you least expect it, there will be a fish.” – Roman poet, Ovid

Although St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, that does not mean success is intangible. Instead of waiting for good luck to find you in your job search, seek it out. Stumbling upon a four-leaf clover is considered good luck, but you can greatly increase your chances of finding one by being in the right place in the right time. Here are four ways to feel luckier  each day!

Think Lucky.According to a survey conducted by Lewis Schiff, successful people are more likely to attribute their success to luck.  “About 80 percent of self-made millionaires say luck is important in achieving success,” Schiff reports. While you can’t engineer luck, you can make it much more likely to strike by taking action. “Now is not the time for timidity,” advises Margie Warrell for Forbes. “Reach out to people in your network to ask for introductions and close the gap on the degrees of separation between you and those who need to know about you. Never underestimate the power of the people in your orbit to help you land that ‘lucky break.’”

Seek Serendipity.Dr. Richard Wiseman, a British psychologist who studies the phenomenon we call luck, found that lucky people are more likely to find and explore serendipitous events. “They create, notice, and act upon chance opportunities in their lives,”says Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdin of Dr. Wiseman’s research. “They are more extroverted, build and maintain a strong ‘network of luck,’ have a relaxed attitude toward life, and are open to new experiences.” Strike up conversations with strangers, make a habit of remembering names and trivia about the people you meet, and take chances when a job opportunity presents itself.

Don’t Jinx It.According to this article from The New York Times, researchers have found that “people, superstitious or not, tend to believe that negative outcomes are more likely after they ‘jinx’ themselves.” Use psychological tricks to stay positive during a frustrating job search. If you go into an interview convinced that you’ll fail, your lack of confidence won’t impress the hiring managers. Instead, try believing that you’ll ace the interview and get the job. Luck is a state of mind, so why not choose good luck over bad?

Be Superstitious.Confirmation bias is a phenomenon where people remember events a certain way in hindsight to fit the outcomes they experience. “If you believe you’re going to win because you’re a beginner,” says science writer Stephanie Pappas, “you’re more likely to remember all the time you were right—and forget the times you ended up in last place.” Superstition may not seem like a positive force, but it can help you feel as though you have some small degree of control in an overwhelming situation. If you feel that wearing a certain tie or eating a certain breakfast can make a difference, then go ahead and indulge in your superstition. It didn’t hurt Michael Jordan, who wore University of North Carolina shorts underneath his uniform for every game.

To paraphrase Seneca, another Roman writer, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Don’t forget to prepare for your dream job by cultivating your skills and polishing your professional brand. Come prepared with an updated LinkedIn profile, a well-written and thoroughly proofread resume, and a business card with your contact information. After all, you can’t expect luck to do allthe work!

Are you superstitious about job interviews? Let us know in the comments!

By Allison VanNest