Taking Risks – Bursting the Career Safety Bubble

After leaving my job in Chicago a few months ago I suddenly found myself in unfamiliar territory, on the market without another new job lined up.  I know some of my friends and family probably thought I was crazy.  It was definitely a risk, but as they say, great rewards come from taking risks once in a while.  Right?

This was a big step for me, mainly because I always played it safe career-wise.  Since leaving business school 8 years ago I have been consistently employed and secure.  I created a safe bubble around myself of quietly moving from one opportunity to the next while still comfortably employed in my previous role.  Each time I took on a new opportunity, it presented itself as a safe chance to take on a new challenge and learn some new skills. Though, in a lot of ways keeping it safe kept me from really exploring new paths and interests.

***Enter my wife’s new job offer*** 

We had been discussing for some time, a move out of the Chicago area to somewhere that was more a match for our interests and values.  So, when she got a great offer from a company in Denver, it seemed like a no brainer.  At the same time I could feel the anxiety growing inside.  What was I going to do about finding a job?  Especially moving to an area where I had no existing network and very little inside knowledge of the business environment.  On the other hand, I had spent my career “playing it safe” and not taking too many risks.  Maybe this was a sign that I needed to break out of that cycle?

So we decided to take the plunge and agreed she should accept the offer in Denver.  I resigned from my job at the end of June and we made the move.  Was it the right move?  I still believe so.  Have I landed a new job here in Denver? Not yet, but I am confident I will.  Sure, I still feel the anxiety creep in once in a while, but what I will say is that this has definitely given me the time and drive to really sit down and think through my career.  Not only the path, but what I really want from my next big challenge.  Its time I didn’t take while in my safe zone.  Do I recommend everyone quit their job to figure things out?  No.  I am lucky to have a talented wife to help support me through this journey.  Do I advocate, not being afraid to take a risk once in a while?  Yes.

It’s easy to play it safe and just stick with what you are doing, but sometimes taking on a new challenge or the less certain path allows you to grow and learn a lot about yourself.  My journey keeps trucking a long and I have learned a lot about myself in the last few months.  Stay tuned!

Do you have a story of how taking a risk helped you grow and learn about yourself?  If so, please share!

About the author: Heath

2 comments to “Taking Risks – Bursting the Career Safety Bubble”

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  1. KL - October 14, 2011 at 2:22 PM Reply

    Although our situations are quite different, I took a similar risk (quit my job with nothing lined up) and believe that it was the right decision. It was the right time for me to fulfill a dream of extended travel and soul searching. Do I have all the answers now? No. Have I found a new job? No. Was it worth the risk? Yes.

  2. Greg Mohrman - November 5, 2011 at 11:09 AM Reply

    It just so happens that the day you posted this Blog was the last day of my “safe-job” in San Jose, CA. I moved back home to Denver, CO with my girlfriend of 5 years who was also ‘re-assigned’ to position in the Mile High city. I could not be happier with our decision. I am anxiously searching for job, but i am not worried. I have a pretty well-established network and I find lots of inspiring people to surround myself with.

    If you’d like to contact me pls find me on LinkedIn or Facebook. Whats your story ?

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