It always pains me to see good people stuck in jobs that are obviously well under their capabilities. On the opposite end, how some people ended up with their great jobs occasionally surprise me. This made me think about my own career, and wondered if luck has anything to do with getting a good job?
Photo by Kevin Labianco via Flickr
At first, I thought the answer was “yes, luck is a big factor.” But as I write this post and reflect on several instances where I thought I was lucky, I concluded that luck is overrated. Here are the 5 factors I felt helped my career the most:
- Always giving it my best — Whatever the job is, I always try my best. May be it’s pride, or may be it’s my competitive nature, but whatever it is, I like my work to stand out as great work. As a result, I have notable accomplishments to show for every one of my jobs.
- Managing my brand — Whether we like it or not, we are all labeled — e.g., techno wiz, smart, logical, lazy, dumb, brown noser, etc. These are the images that pop up when people think of us; it’s our reputation. Our brands can hurt, or help our career. Personally, I have established a good brand, but there are also flaws that I have to work on.
- Hunger for Knowledge — Constantly learning new skills and gaining knowledge is really important to me. Every time I am in a new job, I feel incredibly excited, rejuvenated, and motivated. I found that I am at my best when I am in a new job. This feeling slowly wanes once I mastered my job, things become routine, and the SSDD feeling starts to kick in. As a result, I am quite versatile and able to succeed in many capacities.
- Breaking the Comfort Zone — Whether it’s the desire to learn more, or the desire to earn more, I have always been willing to step out of my comfort zone and experiment. This means that I am less likely to settle into a job and let a promotional opportunity pass by — a great way to keep my skills current and salary competitive.
- Networking — It’s a good thing to make friends, and keep in touch with them periodically. I personally don’t mix my personal and professional lives, but I do maintain good relationships with people inside and outside the company. I also like to help matching people to opportunities. My motto is never burn bridges, and build as many as you can.
I don’t know which one helped me the most. At first, I was tempted to say it’s the networking. But I had to laugh because I am an introvert, and normally feel uncomfortable in social events. May be it’s my brand, my accomplishments, or my knowledge. In the end, I think all of these factors are essential. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if a great position opens up, and you are the most qualified candidate.
So, what do you think getting a good job is a matter of luck?
Pinyo Bhulipongsanon is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance and a Realtor® licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, financial literacy author, and Realtor®.