Hedge Your Bets for Career Success

“If you hedge your bets, you don’t risk everything on one opportunity, but try more than one thing” (www.usingenglish.com). That’s not a bad approach to adopt if you want to pursue long-term career success, as well as shorter-term job satisfaction.

The future is necessarily at least somewhat uncertain, unpredictable. Your overall career success could hinge a lot on recognizing this fact and taking preemptive action to increase the odds in your favor–in other words, hedge your bets for career success.

Basic Bet-Hedging Actions

Hedging your career bets doesn’t come with a 100% guarantee. However, although it might not be the key to career success, it’s certainly a key to that goal. You might already be taking one or more of the following actions, but if not, I encourage you to begin that process.Golden key to success

  1. Make sure you know what career success really means to you before you try to hedge your bets. Otherwise, you could waste a lot of time (and maybe money) charging off in the wrong direction.
  2. Evaluate your current situation and try to determine the area(s) where you’re most vulnerable. For example: Are there changes in your field that will require knowledge you don’t have and don’t want to acquire? Explore those to gain an understanding of their possible impact on your success.
  3. Conduct the same kind of analysis to identify “in demand” strengths and potential strengths that you have but could do more with or that you could easily acquire and would like to use. Create a career plan to develop and/or acquire those strengths.
  4. Pinpoint key areas of your life that aren’t directly career-involved but could or would affect your career success potential. For example, does your chosen career target require a major relocation, an ability to travel extensively, etc.? You’ll need to take things like that into consideration.

That’s only a starter-list, of course. What else do you need to consider?

Bet-Hedging Mindset for Career Success

Maybe you’re not a big risk-taker. That’s okay. In fact, that’s at the heart of hedging bets–minimizing the risk of loss or failure.

On the other hand, if you’re adamantly against taking risks at all, the practice of hedging bets won’t help you. Just be aware that you’re probably going to face risk and the possibility of loss even if you do your best to avoid that. Life has a way of throwing challenges at you that you can’t prevent or control–at least, not completely.

Depositphotos_7938868_m-2015Those challenges can effectively stop you in your tracks if you haven’t taken precautionary measures to give you alternatives. If you run up against a brick wall, what options do you have?

It’s always a good idea to have alternatives–steps you could reasonably take if necessary. To use the brick wall concept as an illustration, could you prepare for career success in a way that opens up a door in the wall somewhere off your current path? Or how about an interim step on your path that gives you a reachable jumping-off point for the final leap over the wall?

Think about these things before you get locked into a situation that has an unavoidable dead-end. Give yourself a good talking-to, if that’s what’s needed–or have someone else give it!

It’s your life, your career success–it’s worth making the effort to hedge your bets to make it happen.

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