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Taking Calculated Risks: How to Evaluate Your Skills & Experience Before Pursuing a New Opportunity



Taking risks can be daunting, especially when it comes to advancing in one's career. However, taking calculated risks is vital to achieving one's goals and experiencing personal and professional growth. In this article, I will discuss the importance of evaluating your skills and experience before pursuing a new opportunity and provided tips for taking calculated risks in your career. By following these strategies, you can make an informed decision about whether a new opportunity is the right fit for you and take the necessary steps to pursue your goals.


Overcoming Imposter Syndrome


Many people, even the most talented and seasoned among us, experience imposter syndrome at some point in their career. It's easy to assume that everyone else knows what they're doing except for you. However, it's essential to understand that it's a common issue and that you're not alone. Here are four tips that can help you overcome your fears and turn them into the fuel you need to power through difficult life and career stages.


Firstly, work harder than everyone else, no matter the task, and stay focused on the long game. How you do anything is how you do everything. It's crucial to understand that how you do the drudgery matters, and it shows people how you'll perform when there's far more on the line. Therefore, put in the extra effort and go above and beyond to show that you're committed to your work.


Secondly, if a task or opportunity is scaring you, take some time to think about what could make you more prepared. It's essential to invest whatever time or energy it takes to prepare yourself for the task or opportunity. The more prepared you are, the less reason you'll have to be afraid, and the more resources you'll have to draw on if the fear comes back.


Thirdly, take risks, because standing still is the riskiest move. There will never be a better time to take a leap than right now. Every second you wait is one more second for the world to shift, for your current life to grow more stagnant, for you to become more locked into what you're currently doing, or for someone else to grab the opportunity you have your eye on. So, take the risk and go for it.


Lastly, remember that someone has already done what you're looking to do. Find out who they are and how they can help you. You don't necessarily have to rely on someone's goodwill or hope to network yourself into an introduction with the right person. Instead, figure out who has the skills that could help you and then hire them to advise you on what you need or ask them for information if you're not in a position to hire them.


Now, let's look at some specific examples. Suppose you're a recent college graduate who just landed your first job. You're excited but also scared because you feel like you don't know enough to be successful. In this case, you can work harder than everyone else by showing up early, staying late, and taking on extra tasks that aren't necessarily in your job description. This will show your employer that you're committed to your work and willing to go above and beyond to be successful.


You can also take some time to prepare yourself by reading books, attending seminars, or watching online tutorials that will help you with your job. This will give you the knowledge and skills you need to be successful and help you overcome your fears.


If you're looking to advance in your career, taking risks is essential. Suppose you want to switch to a different industry or start your own business. In that case, you can take a risk by quitting your job and pursuing your dream. This may seem scary, but it's better to take a chance than to regret not taking the leap later.


Lastly, finding a mentor or someone who has already done what you're looking to do can be incredibly helpful. Suppose you're thinking of starting your own business. In that case, you can find a successful entrepreneur who can advise you on what you need to do to be successful. They can give you valuable insights and help you avoid common mistakes that many startups make.


Imposter syndrome is a common issue that many people face at some point in their career. However, by following these four tips, you can overcome your fears and turn them into the fuel you need to power through difficult life and career stages. Remember to work harder than everyone else, prepare yourself, take risks, and find someone who can help you. With these tips, you can achieve your goals and be successful.


Examples of How to Take Risks in a Career


Taking risks is an essential part of advancing in one's career. Here are some additional examples of how to take risks in a career:

  1. Pursue a new opportunity: If you've been working in the same role or industry for a while and feel like you're not growing, consider pursuing a new opportunity. This could mean applying for a job in a different industry, taking on a new project at work, or starting your own business.

  2. Speak up: If you have an idea that could benefit your company or team, don't be afraid to speak up and share it. This can be scary, especially if you're new to the company or haven't been in a leadership position before. However, sharing your ideas can help you stand out and show your value to the organization.

  3. Ask for a raise or promotion: If you feel like you've been in your current role for a while and have been performing well, it may be time to ask for a raise or promotion. This can be a risk because there's always the possibility that your employer may say no or that it could create tension in your relationship. However, if you don't ask, you'll never know what could have been possible.

  4. Take on a leadership role: If you've never been in a leadership role before, it can be intimidating to take on the responsibility. However, stepping up and taking on a leadership role can help you grow and develop new skills. This could mean leading a project at work, volunteering to lead a team, or starting your own business.

  5. Pursue further education: If you feel like you need additional education or training to advance in your career, consider pursuing a degree or certification. This can be a risk because it requires a significant investment of time and money. However, it can also open up new opportunities and help you stand out in a competitive job market.

Remember, taking risks is an essential part of advancing in your career. While it can be scary, it's important to take calculated risks and step outside of your comfort zone to achieve your goals.


Ways to Calculate the Risks of a New Opportunity


Taking risks in one's career can be intimidating. However, it's important to take calculated risks and weigh the potential risks and benefits before making a decision. Here are some ways to calculate the risks of a new opportunity:

  1. Research: Before pursuing a new opportunity, it's essential to do your research. This could mean researching the company, industry, or job market. Look at the company's financials, read news articles about the industry, and talk to people who work in the field. This will give you a better understanding of the potential risks and benefits of pursuing the opportunity.

  2. Evaluate your skills and experience: Take a look at your skills and experience and evaluate whether they align with the new opportunity. If you're considering a job in a new industry, for example, think about how your current skills could transfer over. This will help you determine whether you're a good fit for the opportunity and whether it's worth pursuing.

  3. Consider the potential impact on your career: Think about how the new opportunity could impact your long-term career goals. Will it help you grow and develop new skills? Will it open up new opportunities down the line? Consider how the opportunity fits into your overall career plan.

  4. Evaluate the potential risks: Consider the potential risks of pursuing the opportunity. For example, if you're considering starting your own business, think about the financial risks involved. Will you need to take out loans or invest your own money? What happens if the business fails? Think about how you would handle these risks and whether you're willing to take them on.

  5. Seek advice: Talk to people who have experience in the field or industry you're considering. They can give you valuable insights and help you weigh the potential risks and benefits. Consider seeking advice from a mentor or career coach who can help you evaluate the opportunity and make an informed decision.

Taking calculated risks is an important part of advancing in your career. Before pursuing a new opportunity, consider the potential risks and benefits and weigh them against your long-term career goals. By doing your research, evaluating your skills and experience, and seeking advice from others, you can make an informed decision and take a calculated risk that can help you achieve your goals.


How to Evaluate Whether Your Skills Align with a New Opportunity


Evaluating whether your skills align with a new opportunity is an essential part of making an informed decision about whether to pursue it. As an HR, leadership, and change management consultant and executive coach, I understand the importance of evaluating your skills and experience before pursuing a new opportunity. Here are a few ways to evaluate whether your skills align with a new opportunity:

  1. Read the job description carefully: Start by reading the job description carefully and identifying the key skills and qualifications required for the role. Think about how your current skills align with the requirements listed in the job description.

  2. Review your resume: Take a look at your resume and identify the skills and experience you have that are relevant to the new opportunity. Think about how your past experience can be leveraged to succeed in the new role.

  3. Conduct a skills assessment: Conduct a skills assessment to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This can help you identify areas where you may need to improve to be successful in the new opportunity.

  4. Talk to people in the field: Talk to people who work in the field or industry you're considering. They can give you valuable insights into the skills and experience required for success in the industry and help you identify areas where you may need to improve.

  5. Seek feedback: Seek feedback from your current or past managers about your skills and experience. This can help you identify areas where you excel and areas where you may need to improve.

Remember, evaluating whether your skills align with a new opportunity is an essential part of making an informed decision about whether to pursue it. By carefully reviewing the job description, assessing your skills, and seeking feedback from others, you can make an informed decision about whether the opportunity is the right fit for you.


Conclusion


Evaluating your skills and experience before pursuing a new opportunity is an essential part of making an informed decision about whether to take a calculated risk in your career. By doing your research, assessing your skills, and seeking feedback from others, you can identify areas where you excel and areas where you may need to improve. This will help you make an informed decision about whether a new opportunity is the right fit for you and take the necessary steps to pursue your goals. Remember, taking calculated risks is an important part of achieving personal and professional growth and advancing in your career.

 

Jonathan H. Westover, PhD is Chief Academic & Learning Officer (HCI Academy); Chair/Professor, Organizational Leadership (UVU); OD Consultant (Human Capital Innovations). Read Jonathan Westover's executive profile here.



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