Career Development – Always Be Open To Serendipity

Career Development – Always Be Open To Serendipity

Serendipity – the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.

I come from a generation that was taught to make career plans looking 5, 10 and 20 years ahead. We could always tell you what our next move was going to be and when we were going to make it. Now, of course, things have changed. There isn’t an economic forecaster in the world who can predict what the economy, and the world of work, is going to be like in 10 years’ time. Even looking 5 years ahead, has lots of risks around it. But, we all make some assumptions about the future in choosing a profession or investing in a new business.

Looking back though, for me and my colleagues, life was never as we had forecast. Things happened that we didn’t expect. New opportunities arose – one former colleague was offered a year’s secondment from London to Tuvalu (a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia). It changed her life forever. Another spent six months in Greece working for the UN in his forties. He changed so much his wife didn’t recognize him when she came to visit – he looked years younger. Others found themselves falling in love or having children they hadn’t expected. For others, a change was far less fortunate. But some were very lucky indeed and reached the top in their chosen field by virtue of a number of quite lucky breaks – I don’t mean they had not prepared well.

So what did I learn? Well, it does help to have a vision of the kind of life you want to lead and to know the kind of work you want to do and what you are good at. It helps, too, if you work at what you are good at, get better at doing it and show your enthusiasm. But, what matters most is to be open to possibilities and to be prepared to listen to your own heart and intuition.

I had always written poetry and articles but never anything longer than about 3,000 words, except for formal written reports at work. Then, out of the blue, about eight months ago, I had a dream. Yes, a real dream while I was asleep. And out of that dream came the idea and inspiration for a novel.  I could have just dismissed the idea, of course, because it didn’t fit in with my plans at that time. I didn’t; I went with the flow.

This week saw the publication of my first novel, The Wolf Project. I don’t know how successful it will be – as an author you live in hope. I can tell you how much I enjoyed writing it and how proud I am to have my name on the cover. It is a gift I never expected– an example of serendipity at play – I discovered I could write a novel.

You never know what surprises, and what opportunities, life has in store for you. So keep an open mind. Be prepared to be flexible and open to the possibilities. Who knows, serendipity may fly in your direction any day now, just as she did in mine. You may end up being just as grateful.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project.  Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.You can contact Wendy at and find out more at

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