As the old superstitions go Friday the 13th is considered a day of bad luck, just like having a black cat cross your path. What most people don’t know is that Friday the 13th is actually a day filled with ‘luck’ and that luck can just as easily be good luck as bad luck. Or if you think its a bunch of bs thats fine too, but what caught my attention this morning is what effect does luck play in people’s careers and lives in general? So much of life can be so random; your friends from college are probably based on where your dorm room was and who lived around you. Who your friends are in college can consists of meeting your spouse, lifelong friendships and even business network contacts. All that from where your freshman year room was or who your roommate was. Let me be clear, I am not saying that just the people who were in close proximity to you altered your future life in the ways I was just talking about; you could always meet other friends who have a whole group of friends that are started by proximity. The same thing could be said about high school, boarding school, childhood neighborhoods. But the whole concept of the form your life takes is greatly affected by your surroundings.
In the work world the same is true of course. Some people when starting their careers had parents who had many contacts and they were able to get jobs that way. I know someone who started her career in global banking, she was hired years ago because she spoke German, that was the only reason. Who you work for also will help shape your career and your life; are you working for someone who is a mentor, or are you working for someone who is a corporate player, takes credit for your accomplishments and talks badly about you behind your back? The randomness of this is really interesting also, do you climb the corporate ladder in a culture where success is rewarded and mentoring is encouraged, or do you find yourself pushed out because someone had to be blamed for lower revenue with the economy. I have never worked in a company where success was rewarded or the term mentor ever even came up. Maybe the world of sales is different. I have always done extremely well in anything I have sold; but instead of being rewarded it was more like there was an animosity there, jealousy, tension.
Some people define ‘luck’ as when preparation meets opportunity. I agree with that completely. Luck isn’t winning the lottery, its being a prepared knowledgeable professional that meets up with someone who is either hiring or interested in what it is you are selling. So this definition of luck is random too, just like the ones above. So, what to do about it? Nothing, its just a very interesting aspect of life that I don’t think most people even think about. What we can do is not be afraid of Friday the 13th and hope that we all have some good luck!