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Become a Calculated Risk-Taker in Your Career

Your sense of risk depends on the control you feel you have in a situation. Follow these tips to become a calculated risk-taker when you make career decisions.

Each of us has our own definition of risk and our own comfort level in taking risks. Your sense of risk depends on the amount of control you feel you have over the situation. Successful risk–takers take calculated risks. This means knowing the chances of success and the consequences of failure.

If you are about to take a risk, make sure you are prepared. Consider the following suggestions.

Prepare for the risk

Preparing for risk involves planning so that you:

  • have a clearly articulated goal
  • know the options available to reach that goal
  • have realistic and up–to–date information about each of the alternatives before selecting one of them.

When you prepare to take a risk, consider the following:

  • Assess the risk. Never risk more than you are willing to lose.
  • Reduce the risk by researching your alternatives, knowing the pros and cons of each and the consequences of success and failure. The more knowledge you have, the more control you have over the outcome and the less doubt you will have in your ability to achieve your goal. 
  • Build support. It is much easier to take a risk with the support of others and much easier to get their support if they are also prepared for the change. 
  • Move carefully and cautiously. Practice with small risks to build your confidence. 
  • Be flexible. Be prepared to change direction if you are not getting the results you want.
  • Keep track of the risks you take and the outcome of each one. Remember that failures as well as successes are opportunities to learn

Prepare to manage your risks

There’s no such thing as a sure thing. But preparing yourself for change reduces the feeling of risk. You may have to push yourself beyond your comfort level by trying new things, but you will develop as a person while doing it.

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