Everything is risky.
Getting in a car, an airplane, even going to school as a child is risky. We only have to look at the number of shootings and killings at schools in recent times to realize that.
With so much risk out there, why don’t we crave it?
Growing up in the 1950s or 1960s, we learned to love security. By security, we meant a job, with benefits and a pension. Companies and employers didn’t change much during these times. As long as you worked hard, you advanced. As long as you kept out of trouble, you could work there for as long as you wanted.
Today, having a job is risky. Benefits and pensions, if they are there at all, have been cut. Because progress happens at a much more rapid pace, companies need to be flexible, and change happens more often. Job descriptions, if they exist, are not cast in concrete. They can change a lot, and often.
You could be one reorganization away from losing everything you hold dear at work. You could be one bad manager away from having a career stopped in its tracks – no matter your age or how good you are at what you do.
But, instead of bemoaning our quickly changing times, you could embrace them. When we were taught that risk was bad, and security was good, how much did it hold us back from being the best we could be?
Today, being good, or the best, at something may not be appreciated. The thing you’re good at may become expendable. A company that gave you glowing evaluations yesterday may toss you out as excess tomorrow. It’s not your fault. But you can control what happens next for you.
One cannot grow without embracing risk. You don’t have to jump from airplanes, if that’s not your thing, to embrace risk. But you may have to do things that previously were not comfortable for you. Yes, you have to do it afraid.
If you are young and just getting out of school, don’t expect to get a job, or join a company, and hang around for 40 years. It could happen, but it is less and less likely as time passes. Expect that any job you take will be short-lived. What you were hired for yesterday could change even before your first day of work.
What to do? First, if you are young, take a job and manage expectations. Presume your job will change often. You may not get rewarded for all the change you endure, but presume change will happen often.
Secondly, keep your eyes open for opportunity. If you see an opportunity to use your skills and work for yourself, that would be ideal. There are many of those opportunities out there. To check out one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. It may or may not be for you, but don’t be deterred just because it seems uncomfortable. Remember, you can do this if you see it.
Thirdly, embrace risk and forget security. Today’s relative pillars of security can collapse on you in a heartbeat. Take what the world gives you, for as long as it gives it to you, as long as it works for you. But if something is working for you, don’t presume it will ALWAYS work for you.
Remember, too, that no one has achieved great success without risk. There are some great, true stories out there from those who started with nothing but an idea, and made it work for them. That’s not to say you should risk EVERYTHING all the time, or that you should be reckless with your circumstances. But don’t let discomfort alone deter you. Don’t let a full plate of activity keep you from seeing the bigger picture.
Don’t be trapped into “security.” It could be all gone tomorrow.
Everything is risky.