Some people thrive on change. They revel in the anticipation of the unknown and believe that transitions come with exciting new prospects and opportunities. Many others dread change, especially when it’s risky and has to do with their career. It’s always a little terrifying to take a leap of faith when it comes to income and job security, but sometimes the switch can really pay off.
So how do you know which career risks to jump at and which to avoid? Well, there are some chances you can take that have better odds than others. Here, we’ll take a look at some career risks that are definitely worth considering.
Joining a Previous Mentor in a New Job
In work, as in the rest of life, there are people we click with and people we don’t. Sometimes you find yourself working for someone who inspires you and who you feel a strong sense of loyalty to. If you’re ever approached by an inspiring former boss and offered a new position that pulls you out of your steady, but stale, current engagement, give the option some real consideration. Of course, meeting with your former boss and getting further details about the prospective new job is imperative.
If you think that the new opportunity seems like a good fit, then changing careers is likely worth the risk. At the end of the day, you have to follow the best path for you—not worry about some outdated rule that says one must remain in a particular job for a mandatory two or three years. Following a former or current boss to a new opportunity is a risk worth taking. That said, giving appropriate notice to your current employer is important, as you don’t want to burn bridges in case things don’t work out.
Going Back to School
Love the idea or hate it, going back to school often opens more doors and raises salary potential. However, when you’re older and more established, taking time away from your regular life to further your education can seem very overwhelming and risky. Thinking about your steady job and your family responsibilities, it can be difficult to picture how school will fit in. The thought of being back in the classroom after a significant time away may also be very intimidating.
While it’s true that life will be hectic for the short term if you decide to go back to school, you have to look at the overall benefits and pitfalls. You need to know your end goal, such as earning a raise or changing your career path, and determine if going back to school will help you achieve that goal. In some fields, an advanced degree matters, and in others it really doesn’t. In addition, be sure to explore all your education choices. Some vocational school programs can be completed by correspondence or part-time. Look for an option that works for your lifestyle. It likely still won’t be easy for the interim, but you may be able to make the situation more manageable.
Following Your Passion
Everyone has heard the adage about finding a job you love so that going to work never feels like a chore. If you find yourself regularly dissatisfied with work or routinely jumping from job to job in the hope of finding something fulfilling, then it may be time to do what you love. Changing careers to follow your passion can be scary. Try getting some career change advice from someone who has made this type of switch or from someone who works in the field you’re considering. If you find that there aren’t any opportunities in your chosen field, you may want to think about starting your own business.
If you’re considering a career risk, be sure to do your research first. Remember, there’s a difference between informed leaps and blind leaps. Seeking career change advice from people who’ve done it can help clarify your outlook. Be sure to give serious thought to all possible outcomes before making your decision and be certain you can live with any of them.