Does anyone play chess? Quick lesson: if you place your opponent’s King into check and the opponent can’t move to another square without being in check, you win. Checkmate. Most players employ a castle defense to protect their Kings. In playing online chess, invariably, players will play against those more highly rated. When I do so, I am sometimes faced with a choice: take a risk by suffering a material loss (a chess piece) to gain positional advantage, such as breaking open the castle defense or playing it safe and likely losing a technical match to a better player.
I’ve noticed that when I win against a superior player it is almost definitely because I took a risk. I usually lost something (consider that financial for the metaphor) to gain big (happy/successful career). While the risk sometimes leads to quicker defeat, I also am happier than when I get slowly dismantled. I’ve discovered that either I win when I take a calculated risk – when in such situations – happy/success or lose but am happier than enduring when I deal with a prolonged beating.
Career Counseling Connecticut’s clients are often in similar situations. I always start with the following: I am a controlled, calculated risk-taker. Compared to my fellow entrepreneurs, I am on the lower end of willingness to take a risk. But compared to unhappy workers in organizations, I am more willing to take a risk and that has made all the difference in my career versus either my law school classmates (mostly successful/mostly unhappy) and those who are stuck in organizations with not much happiness or success.
Perhaps most importantly, we can help you figure out which career risks to take.