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Six worthwhile risks to take in your career

Published on: Jun 2, 2016

We’re not talking about behaving impulsively. Rather, the career risks you should consider are those that leave you feeling professionally satisfied, help you move up in the finance world and see you receiving fair reward and recognition for a job well done.

While I’m sure you can think of a myriad of reasons why now isn’t a good time for you to get out of your comfort zone and take a risk, consider these words from Helen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” 

Still nervous? Let’s consider the advantages of embracing change. Here are six accounting career risks with promising returns: 

1. Ask for more

Do you feel you’re growing professionally in your current position? Or do you feel like your job description is in need of updating, and for that matter your salary, too? Perhaps, a promotion is in order. Now’s the time to revisit your day-to-day duties with your manager and — if you feel strongly that you’re undercompensated or your job description needs an upgrade — ask for a salary increase. Even if you don’t get one, your supervisor will know that you value yourself and your contributions to the organisation. 

2. Try a different role

When opportunity knocks, do you slam the door shut or welcome it in? A sure way not to get a higher-level management position is never to apply. If a recruitment consultant contacts you, the riskier but potentially more rewarding response is to say, “why not?” and engage the opportunity.

3. Look beyond salary

Money is not the only consideration when weighing the pros and cons of your current job or an offer on the table. Maybe you’re feeling burned out by the travel demands and long hours in the office, but you’re not sure you can find a better alternative.

Take a serious look at the importance of a work-life balance and what you’d be willing to trade for having less job-related stress. Even if a prospective company doesn’t have the same name recognition as your current employer, but it has a better workplace culture and work-life balance, it’s worth strongly considering. Non-financial employee benefits such as flexible schedules, additional annual leave days and remote work options can go a long way toward keeping you happy in your career, and at home.

4. Network beyond your pay grade

Get outside your comfort zone and expand your professional network. Meet with peers outside the accounting and finance world, and get in the habit of having coffee, lunch or a quick catch-up with financial pros in different roles than you. You might learn something new. Also, you never know where you might meet your next boss or stellar job reference.

5. Go back to school

If you’re feeling stuck in your career or bored in your job, the solution might be as simple as learning a few new Excel tips to make your workday more productive and efficient.

6. Make a bold change

If all roads lead to dead-ends at your job, and you’ve discussed your concerns with your boss to no avail, it may be time to branch out. Think about testing the waters with a start-up company or partnering with a colleague and launching your own accounting firm. You could also cut back on your hours by taking a temporary job while you explore a new industry.

In any scenario, you’ll need to do research on possible outcomes of each of your choices and have a backup plan.

More often than not, career risks can lead to better opportunities and professional fulfillment.

Author: Robert Half