A new survey asked 1,000 executives what career risks they took, and the vast majority (mid 70’s to high 80 percentile) said they had no regrets after taking these risks. Here’s the top seven, with the percentage.
1. “Quitting a job I didn’t like.” (56 percent)
If you’re a high-wattage employee but you stay in a job you don’t like, you eventually become a low-wattage employee, effectively quitting and staying. But you should just quit.
2. “Changing fields or industries.” (41 percent)
It’s riskier to stay in a place where you’ll always be wondering about what could have been. The distance from risks gone wrong won’t move you anywhere near as far backward as risks gone right will vault you forward.
3. “Speaking up about a problem at work.” (39 percent)
Ask yourself two questions: “What’s the worst that can happen if I do speak up?” and “What’s the worst that can happen if I don’t?” You’ll find that not speaking up tends to have far greater consequences.
4. “Negotiating for a raise.” (34 percent)
When it comes to negotiating for raises, if the worst you’d face is a “no” but the best is the time value of money than this risk shouldn’t hold anyone back. Most often, people undervalue what they’re really worth.
5. “Going back to school.” (27 percent)
People go back to school because of a desire to learn, grow skills, and become better versions of themselves. That’s always a worthy risk. It can be one of the best stepping-stone decisions in life.
6. “Moving for work.” (24 percent)
If you’re following work you love, you quickly get past the hassles of moving and the leaving of conveniences and familiarity behind. If people matter to you, you find ways to stay in touch and bridge the distance. Treating every move as a new adventure is helpful too.
7. “Pursuing a passion/starting my own business.” (22 percent)
Ask yourself, “Will my life’s work feel incomplete if I don’t pursue this passion?” It’s a great place to start.