The Elements of Luck

I’ve never before written a review of a book review, but something so interesting caught my eye that I’m risking doing it.

On the website of the National Career Development Association, there is an article by Millicent Simmelink ( called Getting Lucky: A Simple Approach to Successful Transition. In it, she reviews a book by Robert Wiseman, The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life: The Four Essential Principles (Miramax, 2003).

Dr. Wiseman (great name!) has identified four traits shared by lucky people that he has studied: They all

  • expect good fortune,
  • increase chance of good things happening by creating, noticing or acting on opportunities,
  • trust intuition,
  • cope with bad luck by looking for the good in any situation.

This is so fascinating to me that I’m going to get the book, but most of all, I’m grateful to NCDA’s review by Simmelink that brings it to my attention. And I’m passing it along to you.

The lucky people of this study might well look at today’s tough job situation by reflecting that they wanted to make a career change anyway, that tough times are followed by better times, that new training opportunities are available at the nearest community college, that free workshops and support groups are springing up where they did not exist previously.

Are you lucky? Are you going forth to have a lucky encounter? No one is suggesting that luck comes to meet you. Just as state lotteries remind us that “you gotta play to win”, I think you have to step out of your comfort zone to become lucky.

If you would like to speak with a career counselor, please visit my website at for contact information. And meantime, get out there and increase your luck!


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