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Taking Risks: Courage as a Skill Set – Part 1 of 2

Excerpt from Charlotte A. Lee’s book: Bring a Dead Mouse: The Secret To Finding Your Perfect Job, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded

Taking Risks: Courage as a Skill Set – Part 1 of 2

Finding a job is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Harder than getting married, harder than having a baby, and even harder than raising a child.

Why is job-hunting so difficult?

In my view, the two biggest reasons are:

You’ll need to take risks – something most people dread

It requires asking for help – something few people feel comfortable doing

For today’s post, let’s focus on the need to take risks.

Let’s talk about complacency, which is the opposite of taking risks. Complacency often feels pretty comfortable and may even make you feel secure in your current situation.

So what does complacency look like?

It’s when you keep on doing things the way you’ve always done them, and you never do anything to make yourself memorable or invaluable.

You’re complacent when you:

  • arrive and leave at the same time every day
  • wear the same type of outfits
  • eat lunch at the same time and with the same people
  • don’t volunteer for new projects
  • don’t organize the Holiday party
  • don’t get to know the new hires
  • don’t go out of your way to impress your boss

And the big problem with complacency is that it never lasts.

If you’re complacent in your job, you won’t be there for long. If you’re complacent in your job search, you’ve going to be out of work a lot longer than necessary.

Think about it this way:  When you’re employed, you’re taking frequent, small risks over a long period of time. When you are out of work, you need to take larger risks over a shorter period of time.

Taking risks in your job search means getting out of your comfort zone and doing things a little (or a lot) differently.

You’re taking risks when you:

  • have a great idea and share it with other people
  • speak up in a job forum to ask a question
  • take the initiative and offer to mentor a junior person
  • ask a senior person out to lunch
  • organize a community services day or event for your firm
  • introduce yourself to the new guy
  • introduce yourself to everyone else on your floor

The key to getting out of your comfort zone is to take small steps. With each step, that zone gets a little bigger and a little wider, and the more you do, the more you’ll find you can do.

Take a small step today! You’ll be moving in a wider zone tomorrow.

COMING SOON:  Asking for Help: Courage as a Skill Set – Part 2 of 2