How To Manage Risk and Reward with Your Career

There is no error proof way to take a risk at your job. However, there are ways to remove some of the stress and pressure we feel when stepping out of our comfort zone. If you have an idea you want to develop or know that you’ve been playing it small when you really have the capacity to be a big asset to your employer, there is no better time than right now to share who you are.

Many of us play it small because taking a risk actually magnifies a lot of the fear we have created around new experiences. The most common fears are: making a mistake, failure, or rejection. So we think about making that step forward, but our fear overtakes us and we conclude that maybe the risk is not worth it. So we do nothing, all the while secretly craving to have the bravery move forward with our plans.

Only you can know what risks are worth taking. When you are evaluating whether you should take a risk, there are some things you should consider.

  • Look at the thoughts that are going through your mind when you see yourself taking action. Do they feel freeing or frightening?
  • If they feel freeing, this may be an indication that you are following the right path.
  • If they feel frightening, examine what you are thinking that is fueling the fear.
  • When you find the source of the fear, ask yourself if the thought is true? In other words, are the doomsday scenarios you’ve created realistic?
  • Make a pro and con list. Detail all the positive benefits of taking the risk on one list and all of the possible drawbacks on another. Compare the list.
  • Recognize the possibilities of the con list and create solutions for the “what ifs”. Knowing that you can handle the outcome no matter what, will give you a greater sense of confidence.

After you’ve spent some time examining your thoughts and how they are affecting your actions, ask yourself this question: if you don’t do it, how will you feel in 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years from now? If it feels scarier looking into the future without having done it, your hesitation may be coming from fear. Ease into the action, give yourself the time to feel confident with your decision and ready to accept any outcome.

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