One of my favorite questions to ask people, especially in the context of their career, is “Do you consider yourself lucky?” A “yes” or “no” is highly reflective of whether or not a goal will be accomplished, a promotion granted or a raise delivered. Turns out LinkedIn likes this question, too. In a recent survey, we were able to poll professionals from across the globe and looks like we have a winner! The country where professionals feel luckiest is…
Nearly half of all LinkedIn members feel lucky in their careers – and it’s because of a few globally accepted tricks for increasing your luck factor, ranging from being flexible to having a strong network. Want to be luckier in your career? Hint number one: get on LinkedIn.
Hint number two: Follow these three tips.
Get Working: Somewhat surprising (considering the serendipitous nature of luck) is that one of the top 5 most universally identified important contributor to getting lucky in your career is this: not sitting back waiting for it to happen, but to get out there and work for it. But don’t be deterred thinking, “I’m already logging 70 hours a week!” Work ethic has so much more to do with working smart rather than working hard, and as far as I’m concerned the smartest thing you can do is to use the resources that help do the work for you. Get this: if you put in the work to thoroughly fill out your professional profile, like adding more than one position and your volunteer work experience, then you’ve just made yourself 12 times more likely to be viewed – and that can happen when you’re working on your business plan, out for dinner with friends or even in your sleep. That’s what I’d call working your luck.
Don’t Be Shy: Actually, come to think of it, you can be shy because LinkedIn provides you with the forum for hitting the second most important factor in building your career luck: strong communication skills. For those of you who still aren’t comfortable hitting the networking circuit or asking the guy standing in front of you at Starbucks what he does for a living, LinkedIn is for you. This is a professional platform where people expect and want to be engaged with for professional purposes, and there are a number of tools that make reaching out and communicating super easy and stress free (no make-up, breath mints or Xanax necessary). Whether you’re sending a note of congratulations to a fellow alumni after learning via your status update feed that he just landed a promotion, or forwarding an interesting article on LinkedIn Today with a note to your boss about how you think the concept presented can improve the work you do, LinkedIn gives you all the conversation starters you need to get lucky.
Take a Shot: As a native Canadian, I pull this Wayne Gretzky classic out of my career pocket on a regular basis. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. In the spirit of this hockey great, and rounding out the list of the top 3 important factors in building success in your career, luck comes to those who act on opportunities. If you are not on LinkedIn you are missing out on one of the most important shots at luck you have access to in your career. Increasingly more employers are using Advanced People Search to track down the talent they are after by looking for a combination of industry, experience, function and geography. Or what about the fact that LinkedIn offers over 1 million Groups where you have the opportunity to engage with other professionals from the ease of your computer. These are lucky opportunities you can’t afford to miss.