Thoughts on the Engineering Industry

A blog covering engineering, technology and business topics

Are you afraid of taking risks in your career?

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Hello.  I hope everyone is doing well.  Nothing much has changed for me in school/work.  It’s been going well though, actually starting to get into swing of being a tutor.  I enjoy it as a part time job a lot, so it something I will consider doing while I do graduate school if possible.

Today, I wanted to talk about taking risk in your career.  I recently read an article (http://tinyurl.com/cbkgwkv) and it talks about how happiness and attitude are more important than reducing risk.  I wanted to go a little bit different route than this though.  There is an aspect of this that isn’t addressed much and that is the psychological concept of truly embracing risk.

In a career, a lot people think about working for a company for 3 – 5 years minimum, being successful at it, and making money/being of value to the company.   And there are people that do need to fill those jobs – I’m not trying to demean that in any way if you are happy doing that.   There seems to be something lacking in that mindset for me though – there is a lack of a true challenge or need to be creative/innovative.  And I wonder if it’s a fear of risk in careers.  Everyone wants to have a solid income and not wonder where their next pay check is going to come from.  The logical extension of this would be that if you are part of the group that needs to be creative/innovative there is less stability in what you do, leading to the next question “What happens if….”.  There can be scary answers if stability in income is a big concern for you.

Now I’m not saying that it’s wrong to worry about this.  Everyone needs to make money and be able to afford food, housing, etc., but I wonder if we get too caught up in this sometimes.   For example, if you have a chance at two different jobs, one is something you would truly enjoy but the other makes considerably more money.  Would you feel guilty about not taking the money because you crave that security?  If we apply the “What happens if…”, would you be more willing to sacrifice enjoyment for money to feel better about the question “What happens if I am not financially secure?” or sacrifice the money to feel better about the question “What happens if I am not happy with my job?”.   I think this is the essence of embracing risk in your career.   Yes, happiness and attitude are important; but an important first step is to be able to analyze job/financial security concerns in a healthy way.

What is your opinion?  Is job security high on your list of priorities?  How about financial security?  Does this attitude prevent you from taking risk you wish you could take?  I would be interested to hear your opinions so if you have something to add leave a comment below.  Have a good week!

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