Why you should take career risks early (and often) in your career

Taking risks in your career is not always easy when your livelihood is at stake. Making career moves out of your comfort zone without certainty of a better outcome is often enough to make most people stay in their roles indefinitely, and unhappily.

But sometimes, taking planned and calculated risks can be empowering and benefit your career – and life – in the long run. To give you some food for thought, here are just a few ways effective risk-taking can grow your career…

Why you should take career risks early (and often) in your career

Open up to new experiences

If we never took risks, we would never expose ourselves to the potential of great experiences. In many ways, it’s a matter of perceiving the future as bright. Moving cities for a new role could mean exciting new adventures; going for a promotion may mean greater challenges and rewards; joining a new company could offer a positive new work culture and colleagues – the list goes on.

The only thing we can do is measure the likelihood of failing against the likelihood of succeeding. Ask yourself, ‘Is there more to lose than there is to gain?’. If the answer is yes, you may need to sit on it.

Get a better understanding of what you do and don’t like

While the previous generation perceived job-hopping as a poor reflection on one’s ambition, today, changing jobs gives us the chance to discover the kind of work we find most satisfying. Changing directions multiple times and going on our own unique journeys early on in our careers – whether that involves a new workplace, studying for a new qualification, or choosing to spend more time at home – gives us the opportunity to find our true calling. This results in greater career fulfilment in the long-term and consequently higher levels of success.

Take control (if you’re unhappy)

Making a decision can free us from the undesirable position of limbo. Are you in a job you hate or feel you would be better suited to a different industry but are too scared to make a change? It’s likely that there will always be that overarching questioning of what could potentially be.

Risk-taking not only increases your chance of improving your current situation, the act in itself can build your self-confidence and self-respect, enabling you to take on new endeavours no matter what the outcomes might be. Once you let go of the fear of uncertainty, you can take risks that put you in the driver’s seat.

Bypass complacency

It’s easy to become complacent in your career while you’re busy in your day-to-day job. In many ways, your career could be seen as existing separately from what you do every day and needs to be advocated for in order for it to progress.

Are you keeping your knowledge up-to-date? Are you attending industry events to expand your networks? Are you engaged and involved as a volunteer? It often takes committing to new goals and executing them to keep all areas of your career active, and this often requires taking risks and doing things you wouldn’t usually feel comfortable doing.