11 Calculated Risks You Should Be Taking In Your Career (2023)


by Natalia Lusinski

11 Calculated Risks You Should Be Taking In Your Career (1)

Hannah Burton/Bustle

When it comes to your career, there are certain risks you could be taking, and should be taking, but you may not be doing so. For instance, are you at the job level you aspire to, and in a job that you love? According to several experts, the deliberate career risks you take can reap many rewards, so it’s best to take a chance and try them out. Yes, it may be a challenge, especially if you are comfortable where you are, though, deep-down, you know you want more.

“Personally, I think the riskiest career move you can make is not taking any risks at all,” Anna Wood, of feminist lifestyle platform Brains over Blonde and career coach/expert for Millennial women, tells Bustle. “You can dream and set goals all you want, but if you don’t actually take risks and execute on your plans, you’ll never achieve them.”

You probably know people like the ones Wood mentions — because being comfortable is comfortable, and getting out of that comfort zone is not easy. Perhaps you, too, used to be in a job rut at some point. But, the good news is, it’s never too late to pursue the job and career goals you want to achieve. To help get you started, here are calculated risks you should be taking in your career, according to experts.


Know When It's Time To Follow Your Dreams And Start A Business

Some people work in a job that’s also their passion, yet others have a passion project on the side of their regular job. Sometimes, the latter becomes somebody’s main job — and involves a calculated risk to get there. David Bakke, career expert at Money Crashers, believes in following your passion and dreams. “This might involve becoming an entrepreneur or starting your own small business,” he tells Bustle. “If you plan it out right, it can be a life-changing event that could potentially benefit you financially and personally for years to come.”


Ask For New Responsibilities

Even if you feel you have enough job tasks at the moment, it’s best to be proactive and take on even more. “Often, we don’t want new responsibilities because we won’t get paid more, or we don’t have the right skills,” Tatiana Rehmova, media relations at Enhancv, a web resume builder, tells Bustle. “However, I’d recommend to always take on new responsibilities and view them as opportunities to grow and learn new skills. The promotion might come at some point.”


Ask For More Support When You Need It

Work colleagues can be a key part of advancing your career and taking calculated risks. Robin Schwartz, Professional in Human Resources (PHR) at MFG Jobs, suggests assessing whether you’re getting the support you need at work. “The right support is needed to be successful,” she tells Bustle. “When you’re faced with issues at work, you should feel comfortable having discussions with your supervisor and with your colleagues.” If you need better support at work, ask for it, she says. However, if you cannot find what you need, you may need to reevaluate whether the company is right for you. “If you find that you’re constantly experiencing problems with your manager and aren’t able to find solutions, it may be time to consider a new opportunity.”


Speak Up At Work, Even When You Know Your Opinion Is Unpopular

Say you’re in a work meeting and you have thoughts about a new work initiative; however, you don’t voice them — the room is full of intimidating people. But, you should. “A calculated risk is voicing your opinion, even when you know it is unpopular,” Bakke says. “If you work for a savvy and intelligent boss or supervisor, and your remarks are stated respectfully, he or she will listen, and you could find yourself in a better light.”


Say “Yes” To Things Outside Your Comfort Zone

One key way to take more calculated risks at work is by saying “yes” more often than not. Even if you don’t want to take on a certain task — especially one that no one else wants to do — it’ll likely help you down the line and show you’re a team player. Sabine Hutchison, CEO & co-founder of Seuss Recruitment, Seuss Consulting, and Zocket, agrees. “Say ‘yes’ to special projects that others shy away from,” she tells Bustle. This includes taking on a role that you feel is a “shoe size” too big, she says, and out of your comfort zone. And, doing *anything* out of your comfort zone is a risk, but will be worth it once you prove you’re capable of executing it.


Negotiate Your Salary

Negotiating your salary is another calculated risk to take in your career, and it’s also a necessary one. “I tell my clients to always negotiate their salary,” Wood says. Even if you accept the first offer you get — which you should not — the more your advance with the company, the more you will have to negotiate. So, it’s a good skill to learn early on, and worth the risk you take. If you get a “no,” you get a “no,” but at least you asked. “If you know you have the achievements and accomplishments to back up the request, oftentimes it will turn out in your favor,” Bakke says.


Don't Accept A Raise Or Promotion If It's Not Right

As much as you may want a raise or promotion, is it the right type of promotion to get you to where you want to be? If it does not match up with your career goals, don’t readily say yes. “Do not be afraid to say no to a promotion,” Hutchinson says. Instead, you can “take a lateral move if it connects you with key stakeholders within the organization.”


Make Your Job Search A 360 Approach

According to Mark Anthony Dyson, MAEd/AET, who has an award-winning career advice blog and podcast, you need to have a 360 approach when it comes to seeking advancement or a new job. “I think the mind shift needs to happen where you want to be found, too,” he tells Bustle. “Creating content showing the depth of your subject matter expertise helps you get found.”

For instance, in this day and age, electronically sending out resumes and writing personalized cover letters is not enough to stand out and set yourself apart from the other job seekers. So, in addition to you seeking them out, they should be able to find you and your work. For instance, if you’re a graphic artist, they can find your online portfolio. And, with platforms like LinkedIn being big ways companies recruit new employees, if you’re on it (hint: get on it!), now’s the time to get people to endorse your skills and write you recommendations. Overall, the more you have an online presence and platform that showcases your work and job skills, the more that recruiters can contact you even if you did not contact them first. Your work will speak for itself.


Quit A Job Before Having Another One Lined Up

“One calculated risk is quitting a job before having another job lined up,” Rachel Kim, SoFi’s Career Strategist & Coach, tells Bustle. Of course, financially, you may think this move is *too* risky, but if a job is taking a toll on your physical and mental health, leaving it may have more benefits than not.

“Fear holds many of us back in taking more risks — in changing the status quo — because what if it’s the ‘wrong’ decision. But, on the flip side, what are you also losing out on when you don’t take those risks?” She recommends calculating the “return on risk” by looking at the pros and cons of taking certain risks, as well as the best-case scenario and worst-case scenario.


Take On Side Projects, aka Side Hustles

These days, many people seem to have a side hustle, and sometimes they turn into their main hustle, too. For instance, Jobvite surveyed 1,500 job seekers and found that 25 percent of Millennial women ages 18-to-35 have a second source of income outside of their 9-to-5 job. Sixty-seven percent said they took on a side job for financial reasons.

However, side hustles have more benefits than just monetary ones. “Take on side projects to develop your skills and feed your passions,” Wood says. In addition, “when your growth someplace has stagnated, do not linger.” That way, you will have your side hustle to fall back on and perhaps develop into something more.


Switch Industries Vs. Companies When You're No Longer Challenged

Sometimes, when there is no room for advancement at your current job, or if you no longer feel challenged or passionate about it, it may be time to seek out other opportunities. “Switching industries can definitely be calculated,” Rehmova says. To do this, she says there are a few steps you can follow. “First, outline your current skills, then skills you’d need in the new role and industry. Research some companies in the new industry and see what kind of culture they have. Then, create a really good resume that will showcase not only your best achievements, the right skills, but also personality, attitude, and motivation.”

Rehmova also advises attending events and conferences where companies from the new industry go. “Talk to them, and see what they think of your resume. Then, make changes if needed, and apply with confidence.”

There you have it. Although some of the above calculated career risks may be more challenging than others, it’s important to take some leaps when you're not happy at work or want to move forward. And if you need an extra push to help you, you can always find a career coach or mentor to guide you along the way.


11 Calculated Risks You Should Be Taking In Your Career? ›

Calculated risk-taking means understanding every little detail you can about the risk. This will help you discover any red flags and potential issues beforehand, and you will be ready with the answers or at least have a fair understanding of the possible setbacks.

Do you take calculated risks? ›

Calculated risk-taking means understanding every little detail you can about the risk. This will help you discover any red flags and potential issues beforehand, and you will be ready with the answers or at least have a fair understanding of the possible setbacks.

What are calculated risks at work? ›

Calculated risk in business is defined as, “…a carefully considered decision that exposes a person to a degree of personal and financial risk that is counterbalanced by a reasonable possibility of benefit.” All business owners have assumed some form of risk on the path to building their business.

What is a good example of calculated risk? ›

a risk that you consider worth taking because the result, if it is successful, will be so good: The director took a calculated risk in giving the film's main role to an unknown actor. Preparing for your Cambridge English exam?

What are some career risks? ›

Although a career risk may not be easy, here are four that are often worth taking.
  • Choosing a job based on culture rather than salary. When choosing between two jobs, you might be tempted to take the one accompanied by the higher salary. ...
  • Getting a job abroad. ...
  • Asking for more responsibilities. ...
  • Quitting a job that you hate.
Feb 21, 2023

How do you answer calculated risk? ›

When answering this interview question make sure you use the word 'CALCULATED' in your response! Any risk that you take at work should be a CALCULATED one. Taking a calculated risk means you weigh up the pros and cons of the risk and you also act in a way that is going to be of benefit of the organization.

What are 3 risks in a workplace? ›

Some of the most common hazards in today's workplaces include the following.
  • Contagious Illnesses. Employees may come to work when they are sick either because they don't have available time off or don't want to use those hours for illness. ...
  • Driving Accidents. ...
  • Workplace Violence. ...
  • Material Hazards. ...
  • Equipment and Machinery.
Jun 29, 2022

What are two example of risk in a workplace? ›

ergonomic - repetitive movements, improper set up of workstation, etc., physical - radiation, magnetic fields, pressure extremes (high pressure or vacuum), noise, etc., psychosocial - stress, violence, etc., safety - slipping/tripping hazards, inappropriate machine guarding, equipment malfunctions or breakdowns.

What does it mean to be willing to take calculated risks? ›

calculated risk. A chance taken after careful estimation of the probable outcome, as in Taking their dispute to arbitration was definitely a calculated risk. This term uses calculated in the sense of “planned with forethought,” a usage from the mid-1800s.

What are 10 examples of risk? ›

The following are common types of risk each with an illustrative example.
  • Issue Clearing. A project fails when political infighting is distracting to the project team. ...
  • Budget. ...
  • Scope Creep. ...
  • Resistance to Change. ...
  • Integration. ...
  • Resources. ...
  • Contract. ...
  • Disputes.
Oct 12, 2016

What are three positive risk examples? ›

Examples of positive risks
  • A potential upcoming change in policy that could benefit your project.
  • Technology currently being developed that will save you time if released.
  • A grant that you've applied for and are waiting to discover if you've been approved.
Jun 3, 2022

What is an example of a calculated risk in business? ›

Here's an example of a calculated risk:

Investing in a Stocks and Shares ISA – Investing in a Stocks and Shares ISA that aims for steady growth could be a calculated risk, providing you have done your research and fully understand the plan.

What are 5 potential risks? ›

Examples of Potential Risks to Subjects
  • Physical risks. Physical risks include physical discomfort, pain, injury, illness or disease brought about by the methods and procedures of the research. ...
  • Psychological risks. ...
  • Social/Economic risks. ...
  • Loss of Confidentiality. ...
  • Legal risks.

What are six typical workplace risks? ›

Workplace hazards fall into six core types – safety, biological, physical, ergonomic, chemical and workload.

How do you take risk in your career? ›

This article will discuss three effective ways to take risks in your career and become motivated!
  1. Try New Things. The first way to take risks in your career is to be open to trying new things. ...
  2. Take on a Challenge. Another way to take risks in your career is to take on a challenge. ...
  3. Be Willing to Fail.
May 3, 2022

What is the biggest risk you have taken? ›

How to answer "What's the biggest risk you've ever taken?"
  • Reflect on a time when you took a risk in your life that was beyond where you normally feel comfortable. ...
  • After choosing an example for your response, make sure to explain the potential in the situation you selected.
Aug 12, 2022

What are the different ways to calculate risk? ›

Some common measurements of risk include standard deviation, Sharpe ratio, beta, value at risk (VaR), conditional value at risk (CVaR), and R-squared.

How do you answer are you a risk taker interview question? ›

I would say that I am a risk-taker. I am not afraid to take on a challenge, or try something new. Likewise, I think it is great to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Otherwise, you stop yourself from growing and learning new things.

What are the 4 common responses to a risk? ›

Since project managers and risk practitioners are used to the four common risk response strategies (for threats) of avoid, transfer, mitigate and accept, it seems sensible to build on these as a foundation for developing strategies appropriate for responding to identified opportunities.

How to do a risk assessment example? ›

  1. The Health and Safety Executive's Five steps to risk assessment.
  2. Step 1: Identify the hazards.
  3. Step 2: Decide who might be harmed and how.
  4. Step 3: Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions.
  5. Step 4: Record your findings and implement them.
  6. Step 5: Review your risk assessment and update if. necessary.

What are the 3 main types of risk? ›

Types of Risks

Widely, risks can be classified into three types: Business Risk, Non-Business Risk, and Financial Risk.

What is a risk example? ›

Examples of uncertainty-based risks include: damage by fire, flood or other natural disasters. unexpected financial loss due to an economic downturn, or bankruptcy of other businesses that owe you money.

What are the three main risks? ›

Here are the 3 basic categories of risk:
  • Business Risk. Business Risk is internal issues that arise in a business. ...
  • Strategic Risk. Strategic Risk is external influences that can impact your business negatively or positively. ...
  • Hazard Risk. Most people's perception of risk is on Hazard Risk.
May 4, 2021

What is the biggest risk in the workplace? ›

The Top 10 Workplace Hazards and How to Prevent Them
  • Slips, trips, and falls. Falls from tripping over who-knows-what (uneven floor surfaces, wet floors, loose cables, etc.) ...
  • Electrical. ...
  • Fire. ...
  • Working in confined spaces. ...
  • Chemical hazards. ...
  • Biological hazards. ...
  • Asbestos. ...
  • Noise.

What is the most common workplace risk? ›

Physical Hazards

This is the most common type of workplace hazards. Examples of physical hazards include slips, trips, falls, exposure to loud noises, working from heights, vibrations, and unguarded machinery.

Which risk is willing to take high risk? ›


Aggressive risk investors are well versed with the market and take huge risks.

Why do we need to calculate risk? ›

A “calculated risk” means you've carefully considered the potential advantages and disadvantages of an intended action and concluded that the anticipated benefits outweigh the risk involved. Calculated risks move us out of our comfort zones, in the direction of our dreams. They do, however, require a little homework.

What are 5 positive risks? ›

The following are a few examples of positive risks.
  • Economic Risk. A low unemployment rate is a good thing. ...
  • Project Risk. Project Managers manage the risk that a project is over budget and the positive risk that it is under budget. ...
  • Supply Chain Risk. ...
  • Engineering Risk. ...
  • Competitive Risk. ...
  • Technology Risk.
Oct 18, 2016

What are the 8 key risk types? ›

These risks are: Credit, Interest Rate, Liquidity, Price, Foreign Exchange, Transaction, Compliance, Strategic and Reputation.

What are 10 risk factors? ›

Types of risk factors
  • smoking tobacco.
  • drinking too much alcohol.
  • nutritional choices.
  • physical inactivity.
  • spending too much time in the sun without proper protection.
  • not having certain vaccinations.
  • unprotected sex.

What are the top 5 risk categories? ›

Most commonly used risk classifications include strategic, financial, operational, people, regulatory and finance.

What are positive risks in the workplace? ›

What is a positive risk? Positive risks, also called opportunity risks, are events or occurrences that provide a possible positive impact on a company or project. These opportunities can help companies reduce the costs of necessary project resources.

What are examples of risk in risk assessment? ›

Here are some examples of the things that should be included in a risk assessment: Hazards: electrical safety, fire safety, manual handling, hazardous substances, risk factors for repetitive strain injury, stress, violence, infectious diseases (COVID-19);

What are the 11 principles of risk management? ›

Here are 11 principles to consider for your business risk management plan:
  • Create and protect value. ...
  • Be integral to your process. ...
  • Be part of decision making. ...
  • Explicitly address uncertainty. ...
  • Be systematic, structured and timely. ...
  • Be based on the best available information. ...
  • Be tailored.

What are the 10 P's main risk areas? ›

These risks include health; safety; fire; environmental; financial; technological; investment and expansion. The 10 P's approach considers the positives and negatives of each situation, assessing both the short and the long term risk.

What are the 6 perceived risks? ›

These are time, social, physical, financial, and functional perceived risks. Each perceived risk factor affects individuals differently according to their risk perception, appetite, etc.

What are the 9 common workplace hazard? ›

Common hazards include slipping and falling, communicable diseases, transportation accidents, toxic exposure, workplace violence, ergonomic injuries, and hearing loss.

What are the 8 typical workplace hazards? ›

There are 8 common workplace hazards that can kill or have the potential to result in a serious injury. They include working at heights, suspended loads, electricity, isolating equipment, hazardous materials, physical separation and barricading, fire and emergencies, and confined spaces.

What are the 9 workplace hazards? ›

Common workplace health and safety hazards include: communicable disease, transportation accidents, workplace violence, slips and falls, chemical and gas exposure, getting struck by an object, electrocution or explosion, ergonomic injuries and hearing loss.

What are personal risks? ›

Personal risks are risks that directly affect an individual or family. They involve the possibility of the loss or reduction of earned income, extra expenses, and the depletion of financial assets.

How do you know when to take a risk in your career? ›

Look for these five signs to determine if it's the right time for you to shake up your work life and take a calculated risk in your career.
  1. You're self-sabotaging because you're bored. ...
  2. You've hit a ceiling and are wasting potential. ...
  3. Your fears don't stand up to scrutiny. ...
  4. Your life is in flux anyway. ...
  5. You're being called.
Aug 27, 2019

How taking a risk can lead to greater success in a career? ›

Risk-Takers Gain Experience

Knowledge is linked to success, and one way to accrue more and more knowledge is to take risks — to leap into the unknown and see what's there. At work, this could mean learning a new skill, going out of your comfort zone, leading a new project, or stepping into a management role.

What does I often take calculated risks mean? ›

/ˌkæl.kjʊ.leɪ.t̬ɪd ˈrɪsk/ a risk that you consider worth taking because the result, if it is successful, will be so good: The director took a calculated risk in giving the film's main role to an unknown actor.

When should calculated risk be considered? ›

But when you weigh possible outcomes and determine that the expected return of a positive outcome outweighs the relative risk of a negative outcome, you can say you are taking on calculated risk.

What are the benefits of taking calculated risk? ›

Calculated risk-taking is common among entrepreneurs, start-ups, and successful companies. It involves the thoughtful evaluation of all potential outcomes, whether positive or negative. With this method, a strategy and plan are in place to anticipate red flags and pivot if your idea isn't working as planned.

How do you answer the biggest risk interview question? ›

How to answer "What's the biggest risk you've ever taken?"
  1. Consider the company. Before preparing your response to what your biggest risk is, research the company and its values. ...
  2. Select an example. ...
  3. Mention the risk involved. ...
  4. Explain your thought process. ...
  5. Share the results that occurred.
Aug 12, 2022

What is the biggest risk you've ever taken examples? ›

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates: "Probably the biggest risk I have taken was with a recent project where we developed a new feature that had not been used before either internally or externally. In doing so, it introduced a clear element of business risk to our project.

What are the three types of risk-taking? ›

Investors are usually classified into three main categories based on how much risk they can tolerate. They include aggressive, moderate, and conservative.

What is an acceptable amount of risk? ›


the level of Residual Risk that has been determined to be a reasonablelevel of potential loss/disruption for a specific IT system. (See Total Risk, Residual Risk, and Minimum Level of Protection.)

Do successful people take risks? ›

Successful people take risks, but they don't take thoughtless risks. Only a fool rushes in. Onlookers might interpret their actions as unwise, but that couldn't be further from the truth. People who achieve greatness take calculated risks.

How do you take risk in a career? ›

This article will discuss three effective ways to take risks in your career and become motivated!
  1. Try New Things. The first way to take risks in your career is to be open to trying new things. ...
  2. Take on a Challenge. Another way to take risks in your career is to take on a challenge. ...
  3. Be Willing to Fail.
May 3, 2022


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