Taking a leap of faith is risky, especially with something as important as your career. But some risks are worth taking. If you play your cards right, you could achieve more than you ever thought possible.
“We always ask ourselves whether … we should take the risk now or wait until we have the perfect plan,” Mohamed Elgendy, co-founder and CEO of Kolena, told Business News Daily. “More often than not, we get stuck with the question, ‘What’s next?’ Clarity comes from engagement, not thought, so you don’t need to have everything figured out to move forward. Take a leap of faith, believe in yourself, and take action.”
Although a career risk may not be easy, here are four that are often worth taking.
1. Choosing a job based on culture rather than salary
When choosing between two jobs, you might be tempted to take the one accompanied by the higher salary. Although you want a job that pays enough to cover your expenses, money isn’t always the most important aspect of a job, and you shouldn’t accept a role based on salary alone. A higher salary often comes with higher demands, and that doesn’t always equate to a good working experience. [Read related article: How to Get Hired With Little Experience]
Instead, it’s becoming more common to take the risk of prioritizing company culture. Job seekers today are more willing to sacrifice a big paycheck and a more comfortable lifestyle for a work environment where they are highly valued and given more long-term opportunities.
“When you are happy at your job and you align with the company’s core values, you do your best work,” said Nate Good, chief technology officer at Idelic. “If you find the right culture match, your career – and salary – will ultimately thrive as well.”
Did you know? In a recent Glassdoor survey, 77% of adults said they would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job, and 56% said company culture is more important than salary.
2. Getting a job abroad
Getting a job overseas is a major undertaking. It’s not as simple as sending out a job application. You will need to obtain the proper certifications and visas, of course. Additionally, it is important to consider the company you will be working for, whether there is a language barrier, where you will live, and how to move your essential belongings with you.
Working abroad can require a massive effort, but it comes with great rewards. Moving across international boundaries (or even frequently crossing them for business travel) is daunting, but offers a great deal of personal and professional growth. Traveling internationally for business is a great way to expand your network as well.
“Go international if you have the chance,” said Douglas Baldasare, founder and CEO of ChargeItSpot. “The perspective you will build and the people you will meet will stay with you forever.”
Tip: If you are an immigrant looking to work or start a business in the U.S., check out our related article on how to become an immigrant entrepreneur.
3. Asking for more responsibilities
Many people find themselves unhappy with some aspect of their current job but do nothing about it. Whether you deserve a raise, want more challenging projects, or need professional development opportunities, asking for more can be intimidating.
As the famous author Nora Roberts once said, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” Employees should keep this in mind when managing their career. If there is something you need to feel successful in your role, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Prepare the proper materials to back up your request and arrange a meeting with your manager to discuss the matter.
If the answer is still no, figure out alternative ways to get to where you want to be. A good manager will be willing to help you grow professionally and achieve what you deserve.
4. Quitting a job that you hate
No one wants to be stuck in a job they hate, but many professionals do end up taking jobs that don’t let them reach their full potential. If you find yourself at a company with a toxic work culture or in a role with no room for professional development, you may need to take one of the biggest career risks of all — quitting your job. Quitting a job can be scary and uncomfortable, but there’s no sense in staying with an organization whose values and goals don’t align with your own. Learn how to navigate a midlife career change smoothly.