We all know someone who seems to get job opportunities dropped into their laps, whose career appears to be a seamless meteoric rise.
Job opportunities don’t fall into some people’s laps more than others; they’re available to everyone. What sets the “job opportunities fall into their laps” people apart:
- They heed the Roman philosopher Seneca’s words, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Simply put, putting yourself in the right position creates luck. For example, having a completed LinkedIn profile that shows what you’ve achieved for your previous employers is much more likely to lead to hiring managers and recruiters contacting you.
- Whenever an opportunity presents itself, they’re open-minded and decisive about whether it will get them closer to their goal(s).
Rather than feeling envious of those who seem to have it easier than you or who are achieving the success you wish you had, ask yourself, “How are they creating the luck they have that I wish I had?”
Preparation to meet opportunities has many looks, such as how you choose to present yourself to the world, educate yourself, and being assertive. The following are some ways those you envy are attracting job opportunities.
- Everybody knows what they do.
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Constructive self-promotion helps you connect with the right people. In addition, it makes you memorable. Therefore, family, friends, acquaintances, and everyone you regularly interact with, think of you when opportunities arise that fit your abilities.
Whether reworking your LinkedIn profile, preparing for an interview or navigating networking events, knowing how to promote yourself is essential.
- They embrace networking.
Networking goes hand-in-hand with self-promotion. Obviously, the more people you know and know about you and what you do and have accomplished, the more opportunities you’ll be presented with. So, for better visibility, cast a wide net.
Many people who claim to be introverts have adopted limiting beliefs to go along to get along. It’s easier to be withdrawn than put yourself out there and risk being rejected. Opportunities are all around you—the caveat is that they’re attached to people, which means you have to connect with people.
Regardless of how comfortable you are with networking, if you’re serious about your job search and career, read Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi.
TRUISM: The world is made for and run by extroverts.
- They’re charismatic.
I’m going to tell you something all the other self-proclaiming job search experts and career coaches never say. Throughout your interview, your interviewer is asking themselves this one question which determines whether you move forward in the hiring process and get hired: “Do I like this person?”
TRUISM: Being likeable supersedes your skills and experience.
Four ways to be more charismatic in your job interviews and career:
- Embrace small talk.
- Listen with intent.
- Make eye contact.
- Ask questions. (show interest)
Many believe that charisma comes from within, that it’s innate from birth. This is limiting-belief nonsense! Anyone can become charismatic if they put their mind to it. Besides Ferrazzi’s book, I recommend reading Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People by Vanessa Van Edwards.
- Their personal brand is important to them.
Whether you realize it or not, your personal brand (aka, your reputation) says four things about you:
- What you value.
- What you’re great at.
- What kind of person you are.
- What you’re known for.
Most people don’t give their personal brand any thought. Nor do they want to put in the effort to cultivate a personal brand that’ll be invaluable to their job searches and career. People whose careers you admire strategically control their personal brand narrative.
I have another book to recommend, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future by Dorie Clark.
- They’ve positioned themselves as a SME.
Since employers hire for results, they look for SMEs (Subject Matter Experts)—thought leaders—who can address specific issues or challenges in their company and industry.
Becoming and being recognized as an SME is a lengthy process; however, your efforts to become one will pay off. Begin by learning everything you can about a subject, procedure, or process related to your industry or profession. Online courses, certification coursework, attending conferences, participating in discussions in a community of experts, posting on social media, and keeping up with the latest news and trends are ways to gain knowledge.
Once you have mastered your “subject,” the next step is the most important one; establishing yourself as an authority or thought leader. You achieve this by managing your social media presence, participating in Q&A websites offering expert advice, writing publications columns, and starting an informative blog or a YouTube channel.
The activities mentioned above of those who “appear” to have opportunities fall into their laps are designed to accomplish one goal: to set them up for success.
What are you doing to set yourself up for job search and career success?
Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send Nick your questions at [email protected].