Career Risks You Need to Take to Get Ahead

by Mel Sim

Sometimes, you need to take a gamble in your career

When it comes to your career, it makes sense to play it safe. You’re not going to apply for a job in healthcare when your major is in computer science, right?

But wait – taking such risks is what makes things happen. After all, healthcare is all about technology these days and your background may just be what they are looking for.

That’s the thing with risks – you never know. Sometimes it pays; other times it doesn’t. And the only way to find out is to actually take the risk and see how it plays out.

But hang on – we’re not asking you to drop everything and go for gold. Taking risks in your career is actually a calculated thing you need to do and not something that’s about leaps of faith. If you take smart, well-considered risks, things may work out for you. If you’ve worked out what you need to do while taking that risk, then you have something solid. And if the stars are aligned in your favour... even better.

What are some risks you should consider in your career? These ones:

Take the chance to try something new
If you don’t take that risk of doing something new, you will never expose yourself to the potential of maybe something you’ll be superb at! Staying in your comfort zone may seem like the better bet but it really isn’t – not when you want to progress in your career. Moving to a new city could mean new adventures; taking on a new role could mean the opportunity to learn new things and have better oppportunities. What you should ask yourself is this: Is there more to gain than lose? If the answer is yes, go for it.

Ask for more
More money, more opportunities – these don’t just fall on your lap; you have to take the risk and ask for it! Being in your current position feels safe and secure so why rock the boat by asking for more? Because sometimes, your boss may be too busy to realise that you have the potential to grow in the company or if you’re in a big company, you need to speak up to stand out. And if you don’t take that risk, who knows what potential you may be missing out on.

Tell your boss she is wrong
Whoa – this risk is huge. First, no one likes to be told that they are wrong... and second, your boss!? It may seem like career suicide but hear us out: Bosses can be wrong sometimes. These mistakes may be accidental and if you point it out, your boss will actually thank you for it and earmark you as someone who’s on top of things. And if these mistakes are intentional and illegal and you have proof, then it may be worth something talking to your boss’s boss or bringing it up to HR. Another case of when the boss may be wrong? When you have a different solution or idea – take the risk and share them with your boss on top of what she has already suggested. She may come around and see that your plan is better than hers. Which works to your advantage because now she’s got her eye on your as someone who knows what they are doing.

Quit your job
Perhaps the biggest risk you’ll take in your career! If the job isn’t living up to what it proclaims to be, then by all means quit so you’re not stuck in a dead-end job. But if the job is not too bad, your colleagues are nice and your boss even better – making that decision to quit because of a new job offer could be a risky thing to do. What if the other job sucks? What if you don’t do quite as well in your new role and end up being sidelined? Should you still take that risk? Consider this: Closing one door means opening another one to more opportunities. But before you close the door, weigh all the pros and cons, and the most important thing to do? Listen to your gut instinct. Also, even if that job doesn’t turn out to be what you thought it would be, then it’s time to take the risk and find something else!

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

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