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Suren Rodrigues, Ph.D., Shares What You Need to Know About Taking Risks to Get Ahead in Your Career

People usually want to get ahead in their careers, as it often means more money, prestige and success. However, they aren't always willing to do what it takes to make it happen. If you want to get ahead, you are going to have to take risks. Taking calculated risks can pay off big time, but things may also not work out, and people often are unwilling to embrace change and step outside their comfort zone. So, here's what you need to know about taking risks.

Embrace Change

Taking risks, especially early in your career, is all about getting out of your comfort zone. If you do what you've always done, then you'll get what you've always had. Some of your best opportunities will be available during times of extreme change. Challenge builds character and forces us to think outside the box. Getting out of your comfort zone is about doing things differently and trying something new. It's easy to do what everyone else does; that's why everyone does it. If you want to reap the rewards, you've got to be willing to stretch the boundaries, to achieve different outcomes and prove your value. Prepare to be uncomfortable and embrace change as an ally for growth.

Prove Your Value/Be Proactive

Being proactive is similar to being uncomfortable in the sense that you can't just sit around and wait for someone to hand you success. You have to ask for the promotion or the new office and prove your value to get ahead. Don't be afraid to ask to work on big projects or give critical presentations. You may have to accept more responsibility at work to show you can handle it. You may make mistakes, but that is part of the learning process. Remember, you must be prepared to be uncomfortable. If you want advancement, then you should make it known. Let your boss know what you want and that you aren't afraid to work hard to achieve it. If we actively look for opportunities, we may be surprised to see how many of them are readily available.

Find A Mentor

Taking risks to get ahead in your career isn't about stepping on people. It's about being astute. Smart people understand that they are always learning. If they are trying to get ahead in their field, they find the best people in that particular field to teach them. You've got to be teachable and willing to learn. Be ready to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes along the way. Having a mentor can go a long way. It will push you out of your comfort zone, provide guidance and build confidence. The right mentor will provide invaluable insight into your blind spots, and their experience will help you avoid common pitfalls. You should never be too proud to learn from proven experts.

You have to take risks to get ahead. This is especially true, early in your career, where the potential rewards far outweigh any possible negative outcomes. This process is much easier, when you embrace change as a constant, stay positive and look for opportunities. So, are you ready to take that leap of faith?

Suren Rodrigues is an avid technologist with a rigorous scientific background, and two decades of proven experience as a leader, delivering enterprise-scale software, and carrier-grade telecom. systems.

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