Taking risks can be scary, to be sure. However, sometimes taking risks is the only way to reap the rewards you’re seeking.
Surely you’ve heard the phrase, “No risk, no reward.”
The same holds true for your career. You’d like to grow your career, take the next logical step, and maybe even find a new opportunity that’s more exciting, holds more potential, and will be more satisfying both professionally and financially.
But . . . you’re stuck in what’s called the “career waiting trap.”
In other words, you want to move forward and take that next step, but you’re in a comfortable albeit predictable employment situation. You often yearn for something more. However, you can’t quite break out of your comfort zone and pursue that something more.
According to the Time.com article, “Escaping the Career Waiting Trap” by Ariane Hunter, most people fear making a change, even if that change will be a good one in the long run. More specifically, they fear whatever pain accompanies the change, even though it will be short-term pain and will ultimately help them to grow.
In her article, Hunter listed three questions to ask for determining if you’re in the “career waiting trap.” Those questions are as follows:
#1—What would happen if you stayed stuck waiting for something to change?
How likely is it that something is going to happen to change your situation without you being the one to make it happen? What external forces might “come to your rescue,” so to speak? Pondering the possibility (or lack of one) might help release you from the “trap.”
#2—How would you feel if it was a year from now and nothing has changed?
Project yourself into the future. What emotions would you experience if just about everything in your professional life was exactly the same as it is today—expect that you were one year older? Are those emotions creating a sense of urgency within you?
#3—What are you willing to risk and explore in order to keep going forward, and what do you have to gain?
What might help you with this question is actually writing down the answers. This will allow you to think in more concrete terms, leading to decisions that carry with them specific steps and a corresponding commitment to action. What exactly are the risks, how much risk are you willing to take, and what are the potential payoff for taking those risks?
It’s impossible to know the answers to all of these questions unless you first ask them.