Lifestyle

Think like a romantic…

To get ahead at work. Seriously, this one (simple) trick could get you that dream job.

Twilight’s Stephenie Meyer experienced hers in a dream, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg found hers in a TV segment, and Sydney photographer Autumn Mooney seized hers at a friend’s party. What each of these women experienced was a “click moment”: a random encounter or event that led them to a dream career (and, for Meyer and von Furstenberg, huge wealth and international fame).

The idea that just working hard will get you the big salary or the boss’s office is outdated, says Frans Johansson, author of new book The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World. “We live in a society where the rules and conditions of our industries and careers change all the time, which is why success can be so unpredictable,” says Johansson. The random moments are what matter – and they happen all the time. It’s how we respond to them that makes all the difference.

Follow your heart

If you’re feeling a bit cynical, it’s time to think like a romantic. How many stories have you heard of friends meeting their partner by chance at a bar or on holiday – perhaps you did yourself!

“There’s something very alluring about luck and love, and it probably has something to do with it being about the heart, unlike our careers, which we plan with our heads,” says Johansson. “What I find curious is why we are willing to place the most important decision most of us make in our lives – who to spend it with – to randomness, while we aren’t willing to do so in less critical matters. When you keep thinking about someone you met by chance, you want to do something –
call them, go on a date. Click moments are like that. You want to act on them. You should.”

Meyer is a great example of this. She barely wrote anything at all in the six years leading up to the vivid dream that ultimately turned into The Twilight Saga. Von Furstenberg thought up her best-selling wrap dress in the ’70s when she saw a skirt she had designed being worn with a wrap top on TV.

Mooney, 32, had worked as a picture editor for years, but was taking a photography course in hopes of a career change when a friend asked her to photograph an event. “I started chatting to one of the women there and she mentioned that she was looking for a photographer for an engagement party – and asked if I’d do it,” Mooney recalls. Then she found outwhoseengagement it was: an A-list celebrity! Mooney was just starting out, but she gulped down her nerves – and both her confidence and her business have grown ever since (weddingphotographyinsydney.net).

An open mind

Make no mistake, “click moments” won’t just happen if you’re sat on the sofa waiting for them: you’ve got to get out there and find them. Take Sydney’s Emma Isaacs, 33, who was running a recruitment company when a friend invited her to a Business Chicks event in 2007. “I loved it so much I returned to their next event, where I found out the business was for sale. Even though I had zero events experience something inside me just said ‘Go for it’. I bought it six months later.”

She has since grown the women’s networking business from 250 members to 270,000, among other achievements. “You’ve got to be open to opportunities,” she encourages. “We’re at our best when we’re listening to our gut and tuning into our intuition.”

Brisbane’s Candace Warner, 30, had her “click moment” while she was travelling. About to start a career as a radiographer in the UK, she randomly saw a job advert to be a tour guide in Turkey, a place she’d just visited. She landed the job, and used the experience to launch Gypsian Boutique Tours with her mum and her sister.

Warner had embraced two more of Johansson’s requirements in making click moments happen: getting out of your comfort zone, and having passion. “I really do believe travel is the greatest education anyone can get,” she says.

We all have “click moments”, it’s just that some of us just more open to them. “If you think back through your career, you’ll likely identify at least one random moment that mattered,” says Johansson. Reflect on these in order to appreciate the role random events have over careful planning. “The key now is to keep your eyes open to future click moments.”

Words by Jessica Parry