Taking Professional Risks

Often times we are inclined to view professional questions and inquires as risky, when in truth they might be exactly what you need to solidify your position within a company or stand out among the rest of your peers.

It is important to distinguish between calculated risks and frivolous risks. In general, calculated risks often yield a higher payoff, and that certainly hold true in a professional setting. While you should be willing to take risks to stand out and further integrate yourself with a team, you also want to make sure you have committed enough hours and effort to make sure the risk has a higher chance of success. For instance, you may be enthusiastic the first day of a new job, but think long-term: is a first-day risk better than a thought-out one that can be executed further down the line?

However, if you have a strong feeling it is time to take a risk, go for it.

For example, volunteering to take on an important role for a big project might seem risky, but if you are confident in your ability to successfully to complete the task at hand, then you should put yourself out there and make your abilities known. Showcasing your enthusiasm and hard work are vital parts of pioneering a young career, so step up and show them what you’ve got!

Another well-known and easily recognized situation in which we often do not take risks but should is in the money-department. As a young professional (whether you are an intern or full-time employee) you may feel as though inadequate work benefits and minimum wage pay are normal. While this might be the case for the first few months, it is essential for your future success that you start to consider yourself as an important player and integral member of whatever team you have joined. If you are working hard and proving yourself, you should never feel embarrassed or greedy to ask for better pay or benefit. While you may assume that your work speaks for itself, never assume that people are listening; you must become your own advocate. Speaking up for yourself can be risky, but it is a risk that might be worth taking so you can earn what you deserve to achieve your personal and professional goals.

Sometimes you need to go with your gut. Be confident and be thoughtfully risky.

What is a professional risk that you have taken?