How to change your career ‘luck’ during the pandemic

Meeting new people, trying new things and remaining alert to possibilities can all help to give your business or career a boost

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO - AUGUST 17: Kyalynn Moore-Wilson, a freshman, sits at a desk in her dorm room as she participates in a Zoom meeting for an 'Introduction to Psychology' course as classes begin amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the first day of the fall 2020 semester at the University of New Mexico on August 17, 2020 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The course will meet in person four times during the fall semester with the remaining classes and coursework completed online. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the university has moved to a hybrid instruction model that includes a mixture of in-person and remote classes. According to the school, about 70 percent of classes are being taught online.   Sam Wasson/Getty Images/AFP
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I read an article lately about a young man who lost his job in the public sector during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. With no resources to sustain a living, he decided to pursue his art passion, and to create funny cartoon versions of portrait images sent to him by clients. In less than three months, he was making more than double the salary he earned at his previous job, and he is already looking to expand.

I found his story very inspiring, especially during the times we are living, so I shared it with a friend who was out of a job and feeling lost. She commented how lucky he was to be able to do that. My friend’s comment isn’t strange. Scroll through different posts of successful people on social media and you are bound to see users referring to them as “lucky”.

Being an entrepreneur for ten years now, I can confidently say that though some people were “lucky” to be in the right place at the right time, that the stars were aligned in their favour, in most cases what appears to be luck is nothing short of hard work and perseverance.

Even though the near future seems grim for many people, you could navigate your way around a pandemic, work on new projects, and sustain a living. Here are some ways that worked for me as I created my own luck over the years:

Network to enhance your luck

One of the most valuable pieces of advice passed on to me by my mentor is to always work on developing my network. He advised me to always go out and meet new people. Those who network all the time and are likely to find more opportunities not only for their careers but also their personal lives. As a social person by nature, I also made sure to always include time to meet new people and expand my circle. Don’t limit yourselves to the same types of circles. Be open to meet people from different backgrounds, at social gatherings you wouldn’t normally go to. When you meet new people, you are often introduced to their connections, and the more connections you have, the more room there is for luck to strike. Currently, while there are social distancing measures in place, you can network virtually. Join online virtual events and seminars where you could meet like-minded individuals or potential clients. Don’t forget about your old friends and colleagues, too. Staying connected with them and updating them about what you are working on could also present you with new opportunities that could come through them.

Look out for luck

Luck isn’t something that will happen to you while you sit and wait for it. Be on the lookout for opportunities. Read different articles and browse through different event announcements that are taking place. See if someone from your network is posting about a project they need help with on social media. Utilise your social media channels to advertise yourself or your business and the offering you provide. Ask your friends to repost your announcements. A while back I posted that I was looking for a landscape designer. An events planner I worked with grasped the opportunity and offered to help me with my project, since she worked on numerous outdoor events and this was something she and her team could work on now that many events are delayed or cancelled.

Find luck in new places

My mother always advised me to try new things if I wanted new circumstances to take place in my life. So, every time I felt that I’m stuck in a rut, I would engage in a new activity. If I didn’t find inspiration, at least I got to expand my network, was introduced to a new perspective or learned a new thing so it was always a win-win situation.

Work hard for your luck

Last, but not least, stay positive. Believe that setbacks are a part of reality, network, and work hard regardless of how negative the situation may be. Stay focused on your goal, and you will ultimately reap results.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati journalist and entrepreneur, who manages her marketing and communications company in Abu Dhabi