In order to achieve your ideal career you have to take risks, often when you feel you aren’t ready to deal with the consequences.
When you quit your job and start your own business, it’s very possible that your business venture could fail. When you take a job at another company, it’s possible that the new company won’t live up to your expectations. Even a taking a small risk like negotiating with your boss to change the scope of your responsibilities could have negative consequences.
Unless you’re willing to accept the uncertainty that comes with taking these risks, you’ll never be able to take control of your career. If you can’t face the fear of potential setbacks, you’re destined for dead-end job. Sure, you may get promoted, and you may get that corner office by the window, but fast-forward to your sixtieth birthday, the day when your company hands you a retirement package (maybe) and a cardboard box ( more likely). That’s the day when you’re forced to ask yourself the question you’ve avoided all those years: What did I do with my life?
If you don’t like the answer you give yourself, you might want to reconsider the career choices that you’re making (or, as often is the case, not making). Compared with a life wasted, the uncertainty that comes with taking a career risk doesn’t seem so bad.
We’re all Unready
When it comes to our careers, all of us are unready, even those who know exactly what they’re going to fill into the bullet points on their resume five years from now. Although their jobs may seem secure, it’s very possible that some robot or software program could make their job redundant ten or even five years down the line.
Acknowledging your own unreadiness enables you to see the bigger picture. It makes it easier to take the initiative to learn new techniques and new skills in order to equip yourself with the tools you need to survive thrive in a bewildering job market. It means being aware that your career could change at any moment. The question is: will you make the change, or will you let the change be made for you?
The fact is, you probably won’t know what career decisions are best for you until you make a few mistakes. The trick is to be willing to make those mistakes. The more times you fall face first into the mud, the closer you’ll be to having a clear picture of what you were meant to do.
It’s okay not to have all the answers. No one ever does. Don’t let your lack of knowledge or preparedness scare you away from creating your ideal career. Be willing to be unready.
Photo by: Nicki Varkevisser