By Myra Singh
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing very quickly, the only strategy that’s guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
These words of wisdom are from Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Facebook, the world’s most popular social media platform. Zuckerberg also ranks among the top 10 richest people on this planet; his net worth is estimated to be nearly $70 billion.
No one would have ever heard about this successful entrepreneur had he not taken risks to try something new. The risks he took helped him rise from amateur computer programmer to co-founder of the world’s third most popular website. Let’s find out about the importance of taking risks in your career.
Comfort zones are dangerous
Yes, comfort zones are dangerous and can mean the doom of your career. Invariably, millions of people fall into comfort zones and won’t progress beyond a certain point. The reason is simple: most people don’t want to leave a steady job with lucrative pay and some level of seniority.
However, staying in your comfort zone can only lead to one outcome: a stagnant career. You may get job promotions and pay increases, but these will happen because of your seniority and not necessarily because of your skills, experience, and excellent work.
This has a cascade effect too. Stagnation leads to complacency, meaning you may not try to upgrade your skills unless it becomes absolutely necessary for the job. This in turn means you will be automatically disqualified for better-paying jobs that require higher level skills.
If you don’t wish to stay within the confines of a comfort zone and want more from your career, it is imperative to take risks. It’s also worth remembering: success doesn’t come automatically—you need to strive for success.
Reduces risk of redundancy
Having a long tenure with one employer doesn’t necessarily imply a continuum of employment. We live in an era of mergers and acquisitions. You are prone to lose a job, even after long-standing service, if new owners decide your role is redundant within the new organizational setup.
And if you’ve been complacent about your skills and career growth, as I mentioned earlier, you are at high risk of losing a career, not merely a job.
Taking risks helps circumvent the dangers of redundancy. Changing jobs selectively and when necessary keeps your skills updated while also enriching the experience. Varied experience across diverse functions in a single role is something that employers look for today. Hence, taking risks can actually help save your career and prevent unemployment.
Taking a risk encourages entrepreneurship
There’s an old saying: “If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.” I don’t imply you should never work for someone as an employee. In fact, you should put whatever you’ve learned to test while working and gain experience from work. Working will also help you to expand your social and professional networks, and update your work skills so you can earn more money.
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