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Best Ways to Manage the Risk in Your Career

written by: Tess C. Taylor, HR Expert•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 2/18/2011

In today's business world, no career is safe from a corporate downsize. However, there are effective ways of managing the risk in your career. Read on to learn how to reduce or eliminate career risk with these ten easy tips.

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    Although any career can be uncertain at times, there are ways of managing the risk in your career that come from within, rather than from external circumstances. All industries at one time or another face challenges, and this creates a certain level of risk for a career person. Yet, a balance between career satisfaction and risk can be achieved in the following ways.


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    Use Risks as Confidence Boosters

    All career choices come with some type of risk, whether it be an investment in a business or taking a new position at work. During each time of uncertainty, a professional may question the individual choices that led up to a particular decision. This can lead to self-doubt and fear. Instead, use a risky time in your career as an opportunity to shine. Use your skills and talents to boost your self confidence and rise above the situation.

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    See Risks as Learning Opportunities

    It’s natural to worry about the risk in your career due to changes that may occur at the drop of a hat. Instead of facing each change as a potential threat, start looking at a risky time in a career as a learning opportunity. Develop a pattern of looking for new ideas and ways of doing things. Get ready to dive in and earn new skills that will be of benefit to your career path.

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    Balance Risk with Responsibility

    Anytime you have to take risk in your career, it’s important to balance this with your responsibilities. For example, you must have another job to go to before you can resign from your current position. If you are considering any risk that has to do with your career, try to consider all the possible negatives and find positive ways to counteract them.

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    Focus on the Lessons of Each Risk

    It’s common for career professionals to look at a new role as a risk and wonder if it’s worth the effort. It’s also true that sometimes what seemed like a good opportunity turned out to be a bad decision. When evaluating the risk of a decision in your career, look to these experiences as helpful lessons and try not to make the same mistakes again.

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    Step Outside of Your Comfort Level

    A risk often involves taking a course of action that is not part of your normal routine or way of thinking. This is something that can cause great anxiety, even in a person who is a risk taker. Be prepared to step outside of your comfort level when managing the risks in your career. You may find that you have better success when you do.

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    Work on Yourself to Increase Value

    A big part of facing risk in any career is knowing what you are worth as a professional. Work on your personal skills and self esteem and correct any issues that are holding you back from being successful. By knowing what you are worth, you will face any career risk with confidence and you will be perceived as more valued to employers.

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    Choose a Career Path Wisely

    One of the most helpful ways to control the risk in your career is by choosing a career path wisely. You may have always wanted to be an astronaut, but unfortunately, there are few opportunities to find a job there. Look for careers that have a strong trend towards growth. You can find this information easily in job outlook reports.

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    Gain an Unfair Advantage in Your Industry

    As a candidate, you will want to gain an unfair advantage over other professionals in your particular industry. Develop a niche and specialize in an area that is in demand to reduce the risk in your career. By using this method, you can rise above others who lack your skills and background. You will be more in demand for your expertise and you won’t have as many colleagues trying to take over your spot.

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    Find Out What You Are Invested In

    For many career-minded professionals, keeping up with the status quo becomes a priority. Earning a certain level of income can become more important than reducing risk in a career. That’s where the trouble starts. A highly paid executive can lose his job just as swiftly as an entry level worker in a corporate downsize. Figure out what matters the most to you and focus on building a strong foundation there.

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    Networking to Reduce Risk

    Managing the risk in your career is made easier if you form a network of supportive people. Look for others in your industry who you can learn from and share your ideas with. These are the very people who can vouch for you when a new situation arises and you need encouragement and support from.

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    Reference & Photo Credit


    US Department of Labor & Statistics - Job Outlook Report

    Photo Credit