Are You Relying on Serendipitous Happenings?

by on August 9, 2011

Are You Relying on Serendipitous Happenings?

I must admit that I’m not the greatest student of the English language.  There are times when I will hear a word used, and while I believe that I know what it means especially in the context it is being used, I recently found the occasion to research such a situation.  In my career coaching Five O’Clock Club studies, I have often seen use of the word “serendipitous”.  While in studying Five O’Clock Club job search methodology, I knew that the Club is targeted, strategic and focused in its approach to job search.  It occurred to me the way serendipitous was being used in the material, that it certainly was about as far away from that concept as possible.  I took the time to look up the definition of serendipitous in the dictionary, and here are the definitions I found.  Serendipitous means “come about or found by accident; fortuitous”.

The word serendipitous in job search methodology writings was used to describe the type of leads that some job hunters look to have occur as they hunt for a job.  While such leads may sometimes happen, more often than not they just do not materialize.  In today’s difficult job market they are becoming less and less likely to occur.  Even outside of the employment world, waiting back for something fortuitous to happen, often leads to frustration and disappointment.

The conceptual opposite of waiting on a serendipitous happening is to have a strategy and a plan for what you seek to achieve.  It also implies that you as the individual have the ultimate accountability for your success.  You likely will need the help of others along the way, in fact one is foolish if they don’t seek it where appropriate.  However, the final person who has to answer for your success in a venture is you, yourself.

When one does not rely on serendipitous happenings, in addition to having their strategy and plan, they take all responsibility for the contacts they need to make with others. It does not mean they wait for their friend or acquaintance to make a contact and only then they speak to a person who may provide benefit to them.  Those contacts are done directly by phone call or direct letter or e-mail.  If a response is not received, a follow-up to the person they are looking to contact is done.  There is not a mindset of I’ll leave a voicemail, and if they call me back OK, and if they do not, well at least I made the call.  If it is something important enough to the individual they look to make it happen, no matter how persistent they need to be.

Being persistent does not mean being rude. It does not mean being a bother.  It could be as simple as suggesting scheduling a call at a time convenient for the other person.  It could be as simple as asking for a contact that may be able to help you if the person in question is not the correct contact or perhaps higher up in an organization and has other staff people to handle the issue.

There is a saying that goes, “Some people make things happen, some people watch things happen and some people say “What Happened?””.  If you choose to live your life by waiting on serendipitous happenings you will never be labeled as a person who makes things happen.  No matter what your goals, no matter what you are looking to or feel you need to achieve, short term or long term, your ability to take charge and go after what you seek increases your chances of achieving those things that are most important to you as you move forward throughout your life.

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