We all have played it safe one time or another. Whether you are safely tucked away in a nice job or have settled for a mate who at least takes you off the dating scene, we all have our own unique “risk level” which dictates the choices we make or are willing to take in our attempt to keep what we have and follow the status quo. Every now and again it’s good to shake it up even if you are not sure the outcome. Playing it safe doesn’t always get you want from your career or in other areas of your life. When do you know it’s the right time to move out of your comfort zone and risk what you have now for the potential of something much better in the future?
Following what has come before is a good way to stay out of trouble and make sure you don’t rock the boat lest you upset yourself or anyone else. That tactic might work for a while but in order to truly innovate your life, your career choices or your ability to succeed you have to know when it’s time to make a name for yourself and be a bit of a “Bad Ass”. You probably think, “Well I’ve built a good thing and worked hard at it, why on earth would I do anything to muck it up?” Well sometimes the choice is not entirely yours to make.
Whether you’ve suffered a job loss, a forced retirement, or can’t get your foot in the door after graduating school, you have to be prepared to leave behind what you think are the natural steps towards your success, and put yourself in survival mode. Some people have built a stellar career at towing the party line and knowing when not to shake things up. I’m not suggesting that those people have made choices that are in someway self-serving and are being “strategic” in their own right. People who survive politically charged work environments have cultivated a way of handling tough people and difficult situations with the skill of a commander-in-chief.
Playing it safe for the sake of not trying something new will make you tired and outdated before your time. Always sticking to a routine keeps you away from the creative process and makes you a creature of your own habit and a prisoner in your own world. Having the strength and conviction to step outside your current situation allows you to have an impact on your life in a profound way and makes your career journey just a little more interesting. You never know where the road will lead if you keep taking the same route to work.
Playing with fire sometimes gets you burned but if you are careful, thoughtful and deliberate in your desires, you might start a bon-fire that could be seen from miles away. Learning to know when to make a move vs. sitting in the sidelines hoping your ship will come in, will help you see new opportunities when they arise and will make you better prepared to make a move on your own terms and not on someone else’s. So know when it’s appropriate to be a bad ass and don’t be afraid to do the unexpected when it comes to your career.
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