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Another Approach - Planned Happenstance


There is another approach to finding the right job. Planned happenstance is the idea that you actively seek out and explore new career ideas and pursue interesting things that arise. Using this approach calls on the following personal qualities:

  • Curiosity: Explore new opportunities – Get on Twitter, talk to people, go to events, say “yes” to new experiences, research, explore the “unknown”
  • Persistence: Exert effort despite setbacks
  • Flexibility: Be ready to change your attitude/mindset when new information/opportunity arises
  • Optimism: View new opportunities as possible and attainable
  • Risk-taking: Take action in the face of uncertain outcomes.

Planned happenstance is not sitting at home waiting for inspiration to hit!

Here are some practical actions you could take:

  • Meet new people. Become a keen networker.
  • Do new things. Join clubs, societies, voluntary work, interests.
  • Take an interest in the new (or investigate the very old!)
  • Take calculated risks
  • Learn about yourself. Build new skills which might lead to new opportunities.
  • Learn about the world: What’s happening in technology? Industry? Society?
  • Make connections between areas of interest.
  • Be optimistic. Look for the silver-lining (“If I hadn’t lost my job I would never have written my book!”)
  • Expose yourself to different viewpoints: Study abroad, read papers you think you’ll disagree with, explore Twitter and similar platforms…

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