“The more I practice the luckier I get.”
This is one of my favourite quotes. There is some debate about who originally coined it, but it’s most often attributed to the great South African golfer, Gary Player, when asked if he felt he’d been particularly lucky on one occasion.
I’ve often stolen this great quote when I’m talking to people in career transition because it’s so true. I only have to think back to when I was made redundant and began job hunting in 2011. Was I lucky that Chiumento just happened to be thinking about creating a new role when I met up with Ian Gooden to reminisce about the good old days at Austin Knight? Yes, undoubtedly my timing was fortuitous. It was also good fortune that I knew Ian in the first place and was able to reconnect with him after many years.
So often, success in a job search is about ‘right time, right place.’ That was certainly the case for me. But was it luck that I reached out to Ian in the first place? No. It was a conscious, proactive act on my part based on a considered job search plan and good old-fashioned research. I like to think I made my own luck.
Like any great soccer striker, being in the right at place at the right time isn’t just about luck. It’s about nous, awareness and, of course, practice. Just like I’d practiced networking (with some of my closer contacts) to build my confidence. Just like I’d practice my ‘elevator pitch’ out loud whilst walking to interviews (honestly). And just like I’d practice panel presentations at home (thank you Mrs B).
None of this would have happened without the help, guidance and support of a great career coach. The plan, the research, the pitch, the networking strategy, it was all put together with the help of my outplacement coach. And during those times when things didn’t seem to be moving quickly enough or I didn’t think I had enough irons in enough fires, having a coach by my side to keep my spirits up and keep that self-belief going was unbelievably helpful. It made a massive difference to me and, ultimately, it resulted in a successful job search.
I am very proud to be approaching my 10 year anniversary at Chiumento, working in a great business that provides exactly the same kind support that made such a difference to my life back in 2011.
So, to all those great career coaches out there I say “thank you.”
To everyone who is job searching right now, keep practicing, keep learning and keep at it. You will make your own luck.
And to the HR community, I say never underestimate the value of engaging an outplacement provider when you’re letting people go. It will make a massive difference to how they feel and just think about what that will mean for your reputation.