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The Biggest Risk To Your Career? Avoiding It.

By November 19, 2018 No Comments

Living in Charleston, SC I’ve come to expect at least one major hurricane threat each year.

And, with it…

  • At least one “State Of Emergency” declaration…
  • At least one week of empty grocery store shelves…
  • At least one week of neighborly debates over the pros and cons of evacuation.

Needless to say, I don’t look forward to our annual “Season Of Storm” but, as the latest hurricane forms in the Atlantic, I am far less anxious than I had been in years past.

It’s not that the threat is any less, or that I am being any less vigilant.

No, the source of my security is, ironically, the insecurity of past storms that my family has already endured successfully.

In many ways, it’s the same with life: short-term uncertainty leads to long-term strength.

NAVIGATING “CRUCIBLE” MOMENTS

When we endure great challenges…

  • losing a job
  • the death of a loved one
  • living through a natural disaster
  • surviving a medical emergency

…we build, within us, skill and knowledge that prepares us to e navigate the next.

These “crucible moments” (a term coined by authors Warren Bennis and Robert Thomas in a Harvard Business Review article) help us keep perspective, and keep moving forward, when the next disaster is imminent.

And yet…

…what I’ve observed among many of the most intelligent, talented and ambitious business professionals is a tendency to do everything they can to avoid environments that will truly challenge them.

These individuals will do everything in their power to avoid situations and circumstance that will push them out of their “comfort” zone…environments where they will have to grow, change and persevere in order to survive and thrive.

In other words, they do their best to avoid change.

And that’s a mistake.

A life without change is a life…

  • without growth.
  • without change.
  • without excitement…a boring life.


A boring life is a life…

  • of frustration.
  • of bitterness.
  • of low-energy, low-passion, low-progress.
  • of low-joy.

I know that’s not what you signed up for.

I know that you want more than that from your life.

And yet you’re at risk.

THE BIGGEST RISK TO YOUR CAREER

How do I know you’re at risk?

Because millions of similarly smart, talented men and women have already succumbed to this fate.

I know, because I talk to them every day.

And you do, too…

  • That manager you used to work for…
  • A current colleague…
  • Your best friend from college…
  • Your brother, sister, mom or dad…

To be clear, these aren’t “bad” people.

The fact is that it’s easy to get lulled into the trap of security.

It’s easy to think that the higher the walls, or deeper the moat around your life, the better.

And yet, ironically, that security too often leads to long-term stagnation and suffering, not satisfaction.

THE SECRET TO CREATING THE LIFE YOU WANT

The good news is that the secret to avoiding this fate is surprisingly simple:

Intentionally introduce introduce small doses of change into your life on a regular basis.

In other words, build your capacity to manage uncertainty, by introducing it from position of strength.

How do you do it? That depends.

The best way to introduce the change you need to keep growing depends on where you are, and where you want to go — both personally and professionally.

In my work with clients, we start with getting clear on the three critical questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you really want?
  3. What must you do to make it happen?

From there we can create a smart, practical plan to introduce the change you need to take your career to the next level.

CREATE A PLAN TO GROW

If you want some help thinking it through, click here to book a free call with me. We’ll talk through where you are and where you want to go and then discuss the type of change you want to make.

The fact is, there is no greater risk to your career than trying to eliminating risk in your career.

The key to avoiding “Category 5” professional disasters is to have a plan to regularly create smaller, structured storms in your life.

It is through these more manageable storms, introduced when you have plenty of bottled water and sandbags on hand in case of emergency, that you can safely build the skills, experience and resilience you need to take your career and life to the next level.

The safest way to do this: book a call with me to start building your plan.

Talk soon,

-Ben

PS: Keep the Southeast coast in your prayers over the next few days. This storm looks like it’s going to be a doozy…

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Ben Sands

Author Ben Sands

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