How can I improve my luck with job opportunities and in business?

Research has shown that most business and job opportunities come through recommendation and personal contacts, so why is it that some people seem luckier than others? How is it that some people always seem to be in the right place at the right time? Can you increase the amount of luck you experience in your life? How can your ‘mind-set’ at work impact the opportunities that come your way?

Professor Richard Wiseman, an expert on luck, draws the distinction between ‘Chance’ and ‘Luck’. Chance is defined as something that is totally out of an individual’s control – like winning the lottery – whereas when people describe themselves as consistently lucky or unlucky then it is probably due to something that they are doing. When he explored the issue further, he did indeed find differences in the attitudes and behaviours of ‘Lucky’ people compared with ‘Unlucky’ people. His research identified four major differences in behaviour and attitudes that he called the Luck Factors and found that when he taught these ‘luck factors’ to people who considered themselves unlucky, they changed and became lucky!

These luck factors can be applied to your work and help you further your career. Here are some suggestions:

Maximising Chance Opportunities - At business events such as conferences be a ‘social butterfly’ rather than a ‘wallflower’, show interest in the others and what they have to say. Prior to attending networking events practice your introductions, small talk and body language skills. Also, think how you can help the person you are speaking with, not only how they can be of value to you. Keep in regular contact with people you have met even if it’s an email every few months.

Have a positive outcome for every important activity you do - be it writing a report or attending a meeting, it will help you become more achievement oriented. Make the outcome specific and positive. See yourself in your mind’s eye - how will come across; what will you say or do? How will you feel when you have successfully completed the outcome? By using these techniques you are programming your mind in the language it understands.

Take a reality check using a 360 appraisal. Your job security and promotion prospects depend on what others believe are your strengths and weaknesses - see yourself through your colleagues’ eyes by taking part in a 360 feedback process and provide yourself with a reality check and an opportunity to change before it’s too late!

Look on the bright side of life - lucky people look at the glass ‘half full’, not ‘half empty’. A positive mind-set it attractive to others - this does not mean that you become deluded but look for the good in whatever happens and minimize the bad. This will keep you going in the face of adversity.

In conclusion, your psychological ‘mind-set’ will have an impact on how you come across to others and what opportunities you attract. You can build more luck into your life by practicing these four Luck Factors.