The art of successful risk-taking involves the ability to identify (and even, create) the right career opportunities that are in alignment with your values and goals.
Step 1 is choosing the “right” risks to advance your career…
But how do you know which risks are the “right” risks – the ones that are “worth the risk” and move you in the direction you want to go?
The first step is to identify what risk means to you. Merriam-Webster defines risk as:
- possibility of loss or injury: peril
- someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard
- the chance that an investment will lose value
But that doesn’t define what risk means to you and to your career.
You can’t judge the appropriateness of taking a risk until you know what risk means for you. Jumping out of an airplane is risky for me. The person who has trained and HAS A PARACHUTE sees much less risk!
Consider the list below and identify which seem risky to you as you consider your career:
- Moving to a foreign country
- Moving from research and analysis to a client service role
- Relocating for a position
- Requesting a lateral move
- Asking for additional work
- Talking with your manager about your career
- Raising your hand in a meeting
- Starting your own company
That’s a wide range of career risks, isn’t it?
What appears risky to one will be more or less so for another.
The list above is not intended to be all inclusive. But it is designed to stimulate your thinking. When we feel stuck in our career, our tendency is to look (point the finger!) at things outside of ourselves.
Let’s take a look at a second list, below. Have you heard (or made) similar statements?
- “My boss is awful.”
- “The company isn’t growing.”
- “Another opportunity would mean a terrible commute.”
I am not going to add to your list. Go back to the first list and identify what you see as risky. The first list is within your control and something you can do something about. Yes, even if you think it is risky!
When it comes to your career, list #2 is all about excuses.
List two is a list of excuses. High-achievers like you (you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t a high-achiever) don’t bother with excuses.
Your take-action moment for today: Start by identifying what is risky to you. Grab 1, 2 or 3 from the list above or modify and create your own. This is your first step in advancing your career.