If it wasn’t for bad luck, or for hard work back in the day.
My beloved, due to circumstances no-one would ask for, hasn’t enjoyed a traditional career and is currently battling to find ‘regular’ employment. A very talented and creative person, they consider this unfair as there are many roles they could do exceptionally well, but just don’t have a track record of. I’ve been fortunate in getting full-time roles in software development even after time out to run my own (wholly unrelated) business. My beloved calls this good luck, but it’s not (entirely).
When I left the armed forces I started a junior role in IT and aspired to more. It didn’t seem to be happening so I paid to do some distance learning and used the knowledge I gained to perform the role I had better, and help the others in my team develop tools we could all use. Later on, I lobbied my manager hard for a part-time course in project management, to plan and co-ordinate related bits of work better. A couple of years later I used my own money and spare time to take night classes in delivering training. And so on.
It’s not just good fortune that I’ve been able to get roles, often with former colleagues – it’s been a willingness to go beyond and to keep growing. I generated some of my good luck, one bit of hard work at a time.