The Changing Definition Of Risk

Meditations for Career Changers

The Changing Definition Of Risk

As a Manhattan Career Counselor and NYC Career Coach who understands the meaning of “risk” from a number of different perspectives, I would like to share a number of thoughts and ideas as it might pertain to your own life and career.

The Different Meanings Of Risk
Risk takes on different meanings as you move through the various stages of life. At some point, you may find that not taking a risk may actually be riskier than taking one. You may live to regret missed opportunities. If you don’t search and don’t ask, you already know the answer.

When you were young you may have thought of risk as merely physical… Sky diving, rock climbing, driving fast cars. Now, however, taking a risk might mean taking a class in art, even though you think you are terrible in art. Or applying for a job that you know you would enjoy but think that it might not pay enough or have enough status. Taking a risk might also mean starting your own business or reducing your hours at work. It’s important to periodically reassess your own personal definition of risk, then challenge yourself to be more open to the idea of taking considered risks.

Obstacles And Mistakes
Just try to imagine yourself sitting someplace, several years from now, pondering your life and career. Which would make you feel better? Knowing that you tried, even if it involved some hardship and mistakes? The more successful people are, it seems, the more mistakes they make. Errors often turn out to be more valuable down the road than expected outcome. Did you hear about the chemist who was trying to cook up stronger glue and thought he failed? His “mistaken” result is the adhesive used by millions daily on the back of “post-it ” notes.

As you go through the decision-making process, you will encounter obstacles and make mistakes. How you evaluate the obstacles and deal with the mistakes will determine the success of your endeavor.

For example; a client of mine applied to a doctoral program in Psychology and she was not accepted. Instead of attending graduate school, she went into her own business. Today she has a viable successful business. It appeared that she had missed one life opportunity, but she ended up creating something profitable and fulfilling.

Try A Try-Out
You don’t need to jump into any endeavor with both feet and no parachute. I always recommend to my clients that they have a try-out experience, whether paid or unpaid, as a way to test the waters. Before you jump into graduate school for social work, for instance, try volunteering to see if that sort of career is for you. If you think you might want to teach high school, try substitute teaching for a few days. If you are starting from an unemployed position, this is the perfect time to experiment.

Even individuals who dislike taking risks and prefer to play it safe can learn how to make their lives richer and more fulfilling with beginning with small risks (baby steps) to change their current situation. You can achieve this by learning how to make better decisions and to take appropriate, and not unreasonable, risks.

If you would like to know more about the changing definition of risk at work, in your career, your job and your life, or if you would like to discuss some new strategies for your NY job success and satisfaction, please give Lynn a call at 212-289-5197. You will be very happy that you did!

Click here for more meditations for career changers.