Last week I spoke to the ACT/IAC Voyagers program – a leadership program of ~25 government IT leaders.
The topic was on managing one’s career and taking risk.
At the event, I received a number of questions about risk:
-When do you know when to take a risk? When to stop?
-Are you ever afraid when taking a risk?
-What’s the risk of not taking a risk?
-How do you take risks when the culture of government is not set up for risk taking?
My three tips were:
1) In long-run, you don’t want to be in bonds. The risk of not taking risks is the risk of being in bonds instead of stocks for 50 years. In long term on average, your net worth will be much higher if in index funds over a long time. Same with your career – be in stocks
2) If you aren’t nervous, it’s not worth doing. Everything I’ve done that I look back and am proud of…I was nervous at the time. And no, it never fully goes away. I’ve heard famous singers say they still get nervous every time they go on stage and worry about failing. That nervous worry is probably why they don’t fail
3) Listen to your gut – You know when to take a risk when it is something your gut tells you to do. If you truly think it is that good of an idea and it is circling in your brain for days and weeks, then you should do it. If you think it’s a good day right after a fight or frustrating event at work, wait a little bit to settle down
How do you manage risk?