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How to Get Lucky at Work and in Life

Saint Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and shamrocks are popping up everywhere along with hopes of luck that the four leaf kind brings. I like the color green and enjoy the holiday festivities, but I don’t much believe in luck. I have shared that with others only to receive a look of surprise, and the question “why?” Because I don’t believe in chance. I believe in looking at life and events as opportunities to MAKE something happen.

Luck is defined as a success or failure apparently brought on by chance rather than one’s own actions. I believe luck is a combination of a positive mental attitude combined with leveraging opportunities presented by a series of smart choices.

I read the book “Mindset” a few years ago and the concept is that it is not talent that leads to “luck”, but whether or not we have a fixed or growth mindset. A positive “growth mindset” is someone who believes in possibilities and sees a positive outcome. Positive mindset leads to positive actions and positive results are more likely to happen. Sounds simple, right? I think Thomas Jefferson said it best, “I’m a great believer in luck, the harder I work, the more I have of it.” How to apply this at work? When you have a project or deadline, adjust your thinking to the positive. Instead of “gosh this is hard,” change it to “I know I can meet this deadline.”

Leverage your luck
OK, so maybe there is something to be said for being at the right place at the right time. I believe in that too! When good fortune appears, do you leverage it? Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great,” proposed that winners do more with the luck they get. That makes sense. How often do we hear of lottery winners who win big only to lose all their money? There are TV shows featuring these lucky people! They don’t invest or keep working; instead they spend it all on frivolous things instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to do even better things. When luck comes your way at work, do you take advantage of the opportunity? When you get introduced to a new manager, do you ask for 15 minutes on their calendar to get to know them and how you can help? When asked to lead a team, do you ask what can I do…and what else? Make the most of the luck that comes your way.

Take Risks
Jack on the movie “Titanic” leveraged his luck and shared that advice to Rose when he said, “make it count!” He was lucky to win his passage in a game of cards, leveraged his luck to meet Rose, and made the most of their meeting during their short voyage. You are probably thinking, bad example! His luck ran out when the ship sank, but he made the most of his luck when he had it! Jack took risks to get to know Rose and along the way met some very powerful people. The risk of getting caught was worth the reward.

Now you clearly need to see the movie in order to fully get my comparison, but the point is lucky people aren’t risk avoidance. Lucky people take chances. Lucky people make choices to attempt to win and embrace the risk of failing.

Patty North, CPC, SPHR, Celebrity Staff General Manager
As the general manager of Celebrity Staff, a leading staffing and recruitment firm, Patty North has assisted organizations across a four-state region with the development and implementation of best practice strategies in the areas of talent acquisition and talent management. Her collective insight and expertise on workforce planning, garnered from her 19 years in the staffing industry, has enabled clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations to improve performance and gain a competitive advantage in their respective markets. Patty has served as an Advisory Board member of ICAN (Institute for Career Advancement Needs), is a past-president of the NE Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NAFCS), and has been a guest speaker at the University of Nebraska – Omaha on topics ranging from resume writing to interviewing. Patty has also been a guest presenter at Women’s Leadership Conference and break-out session presenter at the Nebraska State Human Resources Association annual conference.

In addition, Patty is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and has her Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification (SPHR). She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources and Family Sciences.


  1. By Annice Sloane


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