Are you in your current career because it was the best choice—or just the least risky?
How did you end up where you’re working? Did the decision to come down to what you wanted, or did you end up playing it safe?
If you chose to play it safe, you’re in good company.
In many situations, people would rather minimize risk than make the choice they really want to make.
Making the low-risk choice is tempting, because we don’t like to put ourselves in situations we can’t predict. I’ve written before about how people love to know what to expect.
But what if by making the safe choice, we’re actually turning down the best choice?
The best choice is the one you feel passionate about.
Let’s say your job hunt came down to two options. One was a “safe” position at a big, established company, the other a “risky” position at a small new company.
It would be tempting to choose the established company just because it was established. After all, you can predict your experience there, whereas you can only guess at your experience at a new company that’s still growing and changing.
But ask yourself: Which position is actually the one that would draw out your passion?
Maybe the growing, changing environment is for you.
If the following sounds like you, the best choice isn’t to play it safe:
- You thrive when your role is less predictable from day to day, and there’s room for growth and change.
- You want the coach who’s new and excited, not the one who thinks there’s only one way to do things.
- You want personal attention instead of having to conform to rigid standards.
- You want to figure out the best of way of doing things, rather than follow directions already set out for you.
- You love innovating and experimenting, and don’t mind admitting when an experiment has failed.
The next time you’re deciding on your career, your brokerage, or your coach, don’t avoid the risky choice just because it’s risky.
Ultimately, the bigger risk might be working somewhere that doesn’t suit your strengths and personality.
Instead, go with the option that fits you—because that’s the one that will draw out your best performance.
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Matt Mittman and Eric Rehling are the owners of RE/MAX Ready in Conshohocken, PA. See articles from them about taking the right kinds of risks, real experience of being a real estate agent, communication styles, building an audience, learning something new, building relationships, Freakonomics, simple business planning, generating leads, Zillow, the weather, Chip Kelly, RESPA, and more.