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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! You may be asking yourself how you can catch “the luck o’ the Irish” you’ve heard so much about from that cereal eating leprechaun. After all, it seems some people get everything handed to them. The best job, most money, and a life everyone admires. When will my luck change?

On this day last year, I was touring the Guinness factory in Dublin, Ireland learning to pour the perfect pint. But, my luck almost ran out and I nearly missed my opportunity to learn more about my Irish heritage.

Before visiting Ireland, I flew into London for a few days. A friend booked my flights, and I was happily cruising on auto pilot. Upon arriving at the airport in London to fly to Dublin, I learned that my friend had booked me a different flight than the one originally printed in my itinerary. The flight booked was at an earlier time, so I had already missed it. On top of that, it was with a different airline– AND out of a different airport in London, almost an hour away! Can you imagine being by yourself in a foreign country and finding out you were trying to board a flight at the wrong time, on the wrong airline, and at the wrong airport? And, the day before St. Patrick’s Day no less.

There were very few options. The airline offered to rebook me the day after the holiday. This wouldn’t work at all. How could I miss celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin? After some quick thinking, I opted to purchase a new ticket on another airline departing later that day. It was in a completely different terminal, but at the same airport. I had extra money put away for emergencies, and my cell phone allowed me to research a new plan. Luckily, I made it into Dublin that night and to my appointment at Guinness the next morning.

This close call made me realize I would have to take charge of my own trip in order for it to be successful. In this same way, I encourage you to take charge of your own career path to guarantee your success. I’m a strong believer that luck isn’t really lucky at all. As Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” If I hadn’t been a little prepared for problems, I would have never made it to Ireland on time.

Learning to pour the perfect pint of Guinness in Dublin, Mar. 17 2013

Below are my top five tips on how you can prepare yourself for your next lucky opportunity:

  1. Take ownership – You are, after all, the CEO of your own career. If you don’t take ownership over your career path, who will? Your success is nobody’s responsibility, but your own. And, if you’re working at a dead end job where you’re not being appreciated, it’s time to find a new employer who will.
  2. Prepare – Don’t wait for the perfect job to roll around to put together a resume. Keep a copy of your resume and a sample cover letter current at all times. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and connected to all of your important contacts.
  3. Practice – Practice your elevator pitch. Practice interviewing. Practice searching for jobs. Practice networking. Practice dressing up as you would for an interview. In Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers, he says, “Practice isn’t the thing you do when you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”
  4. Proactive Approach – Finding a job is a job. Don’t wait for your next opportunity to come to you. Seek it out. Don’t have the skills necessary? Look for opportunities to grow your own skills. Don’t wait for your current boss to send you to a training class. Find ways to grow your skills on your own through community classes, volunteer work, or helping another department at your current job.
  5. Pause Fear – Finding a job and growing your career can make anyone nervous. Just like learning to drive a car, or speaking in front of a group. But, if you can allow yourself to realize you’re not the only one who feels that way – and to keep pushing ahead despite your fear, you’ll find you make progress faster.

Use these tips, and you’ll create the results you desire. In fact, you very well may find yourself explaining just how you got so lucky. Best of luck, and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I hope these tips have helped you.  Visit to find more tips to improve your job search.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland

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