How do I know when to take a career risk?

A lot of success stories begin with a risk. Usually that risk involves an investment. It's the investment that sells the risk. It's the investment that creates the opportunity. It's the investment that makes or breaks the success story. So, what's the recipe to success? How do I know when to take a risk?


By definition risk is the exposure to the chance of loss or failure. Despite all of our differences, the fear of failure is common to us all. Granted, every person is different. We differ physically, behaviorally, and intellectually. It's these differences that make our paths unique from one another. It's these differences that build our future. Now, there are challenges that come with a risk. They could be financial, environmental, or personal. I'm sure we all know someone who is fearless, someone who takes a challenge head on. I'm sure we all know someone who is patient, someone who takes a safer route. There is no preferred way to tackle a challenge aside from taking on the responsibility. We have our freedom of choice to do what we think is the best decision towards our desired outcome. A big factor in that desired outcome is time.


Time is of the essence. We have all heard the phrase, "if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." Truth is there are only a few things we have accomplished in time. It's the unexpected things in this life that throw out our idea of time. It's also the unexpected things in this life that prove to be our greatest accomplishment or failure. In my experience, our greatest lessons come from our failures. Failure is not a bad thing. Failure gives us the opportunity to grow. It's God's blessing. Failure humbles us and gives us a new perspective. It opens doors we may not have bothered to look into.


There in lies the investment. An investment may look like a financial obligation or an agreed upon guarantee on the surface. But, the real investment is you. The investment comes from your work ethic, your attitude, and your willingness to continue. Your path may change route and that isn't a bad thing either. There is a reason for everything. Our routes may change course temporarily or permanently. That course change may be the risk itself. Reevaluate what you could gain and what you could lose. Listen to the advice your given. Some of the best advice I have ever gotten didn't come from the workplace nor did it come from classroom lectures or books. Sometimes we have to take a step back and listen to the advice our parents gave us as children, that is, be patient and when you fall down - get back up.


So what's the recipe to success? Without quoting popular songs or phrases, I'd say, expect to fail. That is the risk. You either accept you may not be on schedule with what you hoped to accomplish, or accept a new opportunity that could be right in front of you. It doesn't mean your off track. It could be that the things you work long and hard for are only a glimpse of what you have to offer.  If you choose to continue working towards one thing then take failure as a means of building you, strengthening you, and humbling you. Prideful people lose respect. You are the investment and however you choose to tackle a risk is only a matter of time.     

2 thoughts on “How do I know when to take a career risk?

  1. Keisha says:

    I have been trying to think about a career.

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