The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

Are there any career risks that a person should never take?

Hello, this is Laura Lee Rose.  I am a speaker and author. I am an expert in time and project management.

I help busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable and have time to enjoy life even if they don’t have time to learn new technology or train their staff.  I have a knack for turning big ideas into on time and profitable projects.

At the end of the day, I give people peace of mind.
Today’s question came from a busy professional interested in freeing some time and space to advance in his career.

Are there any career risks that a person should never take?  These career risks may be on the job, during a job search, while networking, or some other aspect.

Everyone is different, so it’s difficult to say what absolute career risks different people should never take.  Career risks are relative to each person’s tolerance to financial security, family obligations, and debt/credit issues.
But there is the adage of “The bigger the risk, the higher the reward”.

The general rule of thumb is – if you are proactive with your risk-management activities, then no career move is off the table.  Take the time to do a risk analysis (determine the probability and impact of the risk) on your career decision. If the probability of it actually “falling apart” is low and the impact is insignificant, then simply go for it.
If the Probability of it “actually falling apart” is HIGH AND the Impact of the situation is significant/major – make sure you have a contingency plan in place.  If you have an appropriate contingency plan in place, it’s still a feasible path.

For example – What if you are considering giving your manager an ultimatum to give you a raise or you will walk?  What is the career risk of this action?

1) Since you have been the top sales person, was responsible for single-highhandedly responsible for 60% of the company’s profits, MVP for the last 3 year and is currently making lower than 10% of your sales – the probability of you getting fired is low AND the impact of moving on is low because you can easily find another job based on your past performance and client connections.  In this scenario – go for it.
2) But what if you are already being paid more than you bring in and are in debt (which is why you need to ask for a raise)?  At the same time, you have been getting Average and Below-Average performance ratings in the last 3 years. Well then the probability of you not getting the raise is HIGH and the impact of you losing your job (via this ultimatum)  is significant (because you are currently in debt and have not savings).  So – should you avoid asking for the raise? Is this a career risk that you can’t afford to take?  Not necessarily.

My recommendation is to find another way to accomplish your goal.  The real goal is to increase your income. Propose a change in position in the company that is salary based (versus sales commission).  It may be a better match to your talents, allowing you to get higher performance ratings and a higher, consistent income/salary.

So – take that time to do a risk assessment on your significant decisions, regardless of the situation (professional, personal and private).

I know your situation is different. Why don’t we schedule an appointment, where I get to know more about your unique situation? And then I will be happy to make recommendations on what your best steps are moving forward. To schedule an appointment, book it HERE.

With enough notice, it would be my honor to guest-speak at no cost to your group organization.

I have a monthly presentation on “how to say YES to everything but on your own terms”. To sign up for the complimentary course, go to


About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
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