Make your own luck

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
                   – Thomas Jefferson

These words, spoken by our third president, offer a good creed to live by. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a job or hoping to connect with a hot sales prospect, an opportunity will likely present itself. The key is being ready when it happens.

Many years ago, fresh out of graduate school, I was working a summer job at a nearby resort town, when the news anchor of our local CBS affiliate came into the business. She seemed very nice, so I asked her advice about breaking into television.  She’d probably been posed that question a million times, but graciously suggested college as a good starting point.

That was my opening.  I quickly told her I had just earned a Master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College — a school known for its outstanding communication program.

As fate would have it, there was an opening in the Sports Department, and she set up a meeting with the Sports Director — who also happened to be Emerson alum.

Chalk one up for Mr. Jefferson.

Oops …
During the hiring process, the News Director called. Both regular sportscasters were out and he asked if I would produce the sports segment for that evening’s news.  He made it very, very clear that I would not be going on the air.

Still, I was excited about the opportunity and hurried to the station, where I spent the afternoon editing video and writing sports scripts for the news anchors to read.

The News Director was apparently pleased with what he saw, because late in the day he asked if I had brought my jacket and tie.

I hadn’t. Opportunity had again presented itself, but this time I missed my chance, and the newscast went on without me in the Sports chair.

I did eventually land the sportscasting position, but I’ll never forget the lesson and the words of Thomas Jefferson.

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