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Are You Waiting for the "Luck of the Irish" to Strike in Your Career?

Categories: Culture of Accountability

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope all of you have the “luck of the Irish” today. And speaking of luck ...

Have you ever known someone who always seems to be lucky? They’re always in the right place at the right time. They always meet and impress the right people. They’re always offered the plum assignments ... the promotions ... and eventually, the corner office with the best view of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Does their journey from corned-beef and cabbage to caviar turn you green with envy?

Well, don’t wait for luck to strike you, not today or any other day!

Instead of spending your time searching for that elusive four-leaf clover, instead, why not learn the real secret of luck -- the kind you make for yourself?

Let’s see what we can learn from the life of the Saint who is being honored today. At 16, as the story goes, Patrick was captured from his home in Great Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family.

Lucky? Doesn’t sound like it to me. But apparently he made his own luck, taking back control of his life and rising to become an honored leader of men.

Here’s a slightly abbreviated entry from Wikipedia. (The modern-day, personal development-oriented tie-ins in parentheses are mine.)

Patrick writes in The Confession that the time he spent in captivity was critical to his spiritual development. (He took an adverse situation and turned it into a gift for his growth.)

  • After six years of captivity he heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home, and then that his ship was ready. Fleeing his master, he travelled to a port, two hundred miles away where he found a ship and with difficulty persuaded the captain to take him. (He was proactive, showed initiative, determination and a willingness to take risks.)
  • After three days sailing they landed, presumably in Britain, and apparently all left the ship, walking for 28 days in a "wilderness" becoming faint from hunger before encountering a herd of wild boar; since this was shortly after Patrick had urged them to put their faith in God, his prestige in the group was greatly increased. (He offered the courage of his convictions, showing leadership ability.)
  • After various adventures, he returned home to his family, now in his early twenties. After returning home to Britain, Saint Patrick continued to study Christianity, and eventually returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. (He reaped the rewards of his determination, risk taking, and growth.)

Here are 6 career-oriented tips from my "St. Patrick School of professional development" ...

1. Take your career trajectory into your own hands. Don’t wait for luck.
2. Take stock of where you are at the current moment, and where you’d like to go.
3. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses.
4. Learn how to capitalize on your strengths.
5. Learn how to overcome your weaknesses. This might require coaching or training.
6. Learn from others who might seem lucky, but probably worked their you-know-whats off to get where they are today!

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