Several dice

The Career Catalyst: 3 ways to increase your luck in 2023

career advice career progression good luck luck opportunities Jan 26, 2023

The Career Catalyst: 3 ways to increase your luck in 2023

Why is it that some people appear to attract life's good fortune while others encounter more than their fair share of bad luck?

Is there something lucky people have or do which makes them so? If so, can those who consider themselves unlucky learn from their lucky counterparts?

Are lucky people born or made?

The good news is that you can create your own luck. Research by Psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman shares how, in his book 'The Luck Factor.'

The author undertook extensive research and discovered that personality shapes how lucky we are.

The 5 Dimensions of Personality:

Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Neuroticism and Openness. 

We all fall somewhere between the extremes on each of the Dimensions. Here is a link to a Personality Dimensions questionnaire.

The author discovered that 3 of the 5 Dimensions did have an impact: Extroversion, Neuroticism and Openness.

Extroversion. Those who are more outgoing will have a wider social group they engage with, increasing their chances of opportunities.

Those who score low on Neuroticism are more relaxed. When relaxed, you're more likely to be aware of your surroundings and to spot opportunities.

A high score on Openness means you’ll be readier to seize opportunities and try different experiences.

This combination of being well-connected, relaxed and curious creates the optimal conditions for being lucky.

With increased awareness of what it takes to be luckier, it’s possible to reverse the tendency to attract bad luck.


When lucky people did suffer misfortune, they were swifter, when compared to unlucky people, to reframe what had happened to them. For instance "thank goodness I only suffered minor whiplash in that car accident. It could have been so much worse!"

So- what's the recipe for those of you who aren't natural extroverts, and whose idea of hell is small talk at parties and 'networking?' What if you are uncomfortable trying new experiences, don't like surprises, and who the thought of a weekend away in the tranquillity of a spa break brings you out in a cold sweat?

  1. You don't have to be an extrovert to extend your network.  Use platforms such as LinkedIn. Invest effort in getting to know some people well and developing meaningful relationships. Ask for introductions to new people you'd like to connect with through existing contacts if that's more comfortable.
  2. If your score was high on Neuroticism, make time to relax, meditate or breathe deeply. Done regularly, this will help centre you and make you more aware of what's going on around you, increasing the likelihood you'll spot opportunities. Visualise success and make daily positive affirmations. These will help to raise your expectations of becoming luckier.
  3. If you prefer predictability, throw the dice. Have six options for each number, all of which are new experiences. Commit to follow through on the activity. Alter your routine from time to time.

I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances.  Be more active. Show up more often.’ Brian Tracy

About the author: 

Anne Wilson (SFHEA), is Head of Careers at the University of Warwick and part of WHEN’s Career Accelerator programme delivery team. Her blog, is aimed at women working in Higher Education. Anne is actively involved in the development of female staff and students at Warwick.