Career Development: Luck Is No Accident

I based the theory for my dissertation (can be found here) on Krumboltz’s Happenstance Learning Theory.  He basically states that we need to take advantage of the events that happen in our lives in order to develop our careers.

What does this mean?  He wrote a very easy to read book Luck is no Accident in 2004 and revised in 2010.  Surprisingly, I didn’t read this book till now.  I learned about Krumboltz in my career counseling class back in 2010, (wow almost 10 years ago!) and his theory really resonated with me.  It reminded me a lot about William Glasser’s Choice theory (formerly known as Reality Therapy) which I had heard about in my behavioral modification class.  

Essentially both theories state that we create our own realities by the choices we make in our daily lives.  What made Krumboltz stick out to me was that he listed five skills one can develop in order to “capitalize” on “happenstance” otherwise known as chance events.  

Here are the five skills career development: curiosity, persistence, flexibility, optimism, and risk taking.  

  • curiosity to explore new learning opportunities (Mitchell, Levin, & Krumboltz, 1999).
  • Persistence means to continue to push through despite setbacks and determination to deal with obstacles that arise.  
  • flexibility during unpredictable, chance events can assist you in your career development. He further explains that flexibility can be reflected by changing attitudes and circumstances or the flexibility to address a variety of situations and life events (Krumboltz, 2009) 
  • optimism is defined as having a positive attitude when pursuing new opportunities. Optimism can be utilized to maximize benefits from unplanned events.
  • taking risks to reach our career goals; acting in the face of uncertain outcomes (Krumboltz, 1999)

Are you currently using these five skills in your daily life and/or career development?  Would you like to learn more about these skills or develop them more?  Let me know in the comment box below which skill I should write about first!

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