Have you ever heard the idea that if you put positive energy into the universe, good things will happen for you? There’s a theory, developed by career theorist John Krumboltz, that’s similar to karma and it's been proven to actually work. The theory is "Planned Happenstance" or the idea that you can take advantage of or even actively look for circumstances that can change your career for the better.
Sometimes it's those moments that many of us would call luck that change our lives. The chance encounter with someone who becomes a close and trusted friend. Or that random meeting at the grocery store where you connect with a friend's friend that leads to a new career or employer. With your career, you can plan these "lucky" breaks, so they aren't lucky. In fact, you're looking for them!
There's a very purposeful way to make chance events work for your career, hence the term Planned Happenstance. Learn how you can use chance opportunity to make a change in your life!
Accept Change With a Positive Attitude
When we're confronted with something new, whether it's a new task, relationship, or opportunity, it's often human nature to reject or avoid change. After all, change can be disruptive and it can require planning and thought to fit something new into our busy lives while also balancing our time and obligations.
But if you take a moment to pause, fight that first "fight or flight" instinct, and ask yourself: how can this new task, relationship, opportunity, or assignment be of value to me, my career goals, and future? With a little thought, you may find yourself surprised by the answer. Fitting something new into your life doesn't have to be difficult and that extra little something could lead to something big down the road.
Choosing to be open-minded can have a surprising impact on achieving your goals. When you're faced with something new, take a moment to think about how you could make it work. For some of us, it takes practice to stay open and approach new challenges with positivity, excitement, and curiosity.
You can stay curious by seeking out new ways to grow through joining groups, doing activities, learning new skills or hobbies or accepting new tasks/projects at work. The idea is to reach out into the world and say yes!
And, even if you don't end up loving the task or opportunity or that instance of saying "yes" didn’t lead to a great new career, learning something new is a fantastic way to expand your skills and experiences for future positions. The opposite can also be true, learning what you don’t want to do is half the battle of getting where you want to go.
Professionally, your willingness to accept that one task could snowball into something completely different and unforeseen through networking and making new relationships. The people who witnessed your desire to try something new will remember your open attitude!
Spare Time Activities
Confucius said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." We all have hobbies we enjoy and sometimes what we enjoy in our spare time can lead to a satisfying career. That's why it’s important to be strategic about the opportunities you seek.
Take time to think about what interests you and get out there and start doing it! Practice what you love! Inevitably, you’ll find others with the same passion.
Putting your energy and enthusiasm into the world about topics that are of interest to you is always a good thing. When you meet someone new, describe your interests or passions when you have the opportunity. When talking to an old friend, tell them about what you've been doing in pursuit of what you love.
The more people who know what you’re interested in and your skillset, the better, as these are the same people who will remember you when a related opportunity presents itself. Or better yet, they may let the hiring manager know how passionate, excited, and skilled you are. What better way to land a job than having a great recommendation from someone who has witnessed your excitement, interest, and expertise firsthand?
Because you can’t know ahead of time which set of circumstances will lead to something amazing, be open to accepting opportunities that come your way and be willing to try new things. You never know what might change your life.