Luck truly matters

I have been part of two very different recruitments: Drivers in the police force and consultants at McKinsey 🙂

And yet, from both the recruitments, I learned the same lesson – we totally underestimate the role of luck in our life.

During my stint with McKinsey, the HR folks one day emailed me asking for help in shortlisting a few candidates for interviews. I agreed since I thought it would be pretty straightforward.

However, once I started sifting through the resumes, they all looked equally impressive. All were top B-School MBAs with impeccable professional and academic achievements – even the resume formatting was the same!

How do you pick the best from a pool where everyone looks the same? But since it was taking away time from my core work, I somehow shortlisted a few and emailed it back to the HR team.

I am sure about one thing – had someone else shortlisted the resumes, they would have picked a totally different set of candidates.

Years earlier, when I had to recruit drivers for the police force, it was the same problem – we had to rate the driving skills of candidates, many of whom were just about equally good. While we tried to be fair, randomness certainly played a role.

Luck truly matters.

So when we try something and fail – e.g., we don’t get a job offer – don’t take it too personally. Remember that it is not totally about you. Dust yourself off, and try again.

There is only one way to overpower luck – try hard, and try again, repeatedly. Luck can’t evade us forever.

Similar Posts