What is Luck?

I have had a good career and have been fortunate to have achieved and even exceeded my goals at times.  I am often told how lucky I am.  I often smile when people say this.  Yes, I am lucky.  But I strongly believe that each of us can improve our “luck” and frankly, I worked hard to increase mine.

Being lucky is having the right skills, experience and background when and where an opportunity presents itself.  Yes, I was lucky that IBM hired me to work in the one location I wanted after just one day of interviews.  But I’d graduated from Wharton, worked three years part time in corporate sales support while going to school, held leadership roles on campus and had a strong GPA in my majors.  So yes, I was lucky.

I was also lucky when I was promoted to my first executive job at IBM running Market Management for Global Small and Medium Business Division.  I had moved my family four times and commuted for two different jobs, leaving my family behind, to take advantage of career growth opportunities.  I’d invested in public speaking training, made time for networking, taken on non-profit board roles and worked my butt off to maintain top performance ratings.  And no, I didn’t get that much sleep during those years and I leaned heavily on my husband.

You could say that was lucky too.  Lucky that I married a man that would be willing to carry the additional burdens necessary in raising a family with a globe-trotting ambitious wife.  I’ll write another blog in the future on that. (Spoiler alert:  I was very focused on finding the right man for me and my future)

Now I’m not saying that luck doesn’t play into it, it absolutely does.  They key is increasing your own chances that you will be able to capitalize on luck when it comes your way.