sunset walk.jpg

With a name like O’Rourke, St. Patrick’s Day is a big hit in our house. Our family consumes way too much green food coloring on this special day as we feast on a breakfast of green pancakes, green syrup, green bagels, and even green milk.  I know…it’s too much for me too, but the kids get a kick out of the novelty of this meal. 

Given the Irish theme of March, I am examining the role that luck and preparation play in our career journeys.  I interviewed professionals to uncover how much they felt luck contributed to their success compared to preparation.

When reflecting on their career progression, many professionals shared that because they had invested in their natural skills and talents they were ready when opportunities presented themselves.  Dwayne said:

“For me, I think it’s been about 60/40. Preparation, such as education and a desire to learn, paved the way for success. That said, I have been lucky to have great bosses that were able to see potential well beyond my education and either point me towards, or create, new opportunities within the organization.

For example, I began my career at Dow as a chemist, but I was also good at math, particularly statistics. My boss noted this and provided opportunities within the department to express these talents. Then, one day the leader of the Statistical and Mathematical Modelling department set up a meeting with me and asked if I would be interested in a new opportunity within her group. She mentioned she heard good things from my current boss and reviewed my performance evaluations and decided to create a role if I was interested. The rest is history.”

Dwayne’s experience matches that of my own and countless other professionals.  Luck alone does not get you very far.  However, the effort and discipline we exert on growing and developing ourselves often leads us to the next step along our path.

How are you setting yourself up for success with your own career? What small steps can you take now to help you be prepared when your lucky number is called?


Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Schedule a free introductory session with Lesley today to grow more deeply in your career or to make a shift into a role or industry.