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!