As you move forward in your career, knowing when to take a chance and try something new and different can be difficult; particularly when it might be the proverbial “road less traveled.” It’s more comfortable to repeat what’s been done before. Following the crowd and doing exactly what you’re told – and nothing more – is certainly the safe way.
To take a different approach takes courage. And courage you’ll need in your career is a muscle that does not get exercised enough. It must be developed.
How do you know when to try something new?
- When what you’re currently doing isn’t working.
- When you’re tired of the same thing, year over year, and need a new challenge.
- When you can’t look ahead two years and imagine doing the same thing.
What are the conditions that would be favorable to a successful endeavor?
- When your boss is not a command and control person, so there’s freedom to try new things.
- When trying a different approach will not negatively affect your current results.
- When you hunger for something more.
Why bother? Survey after survey of workplace managers indicates that one of the most critical skills for future jobs will be the ability to execute critical and creative thinking. There will be less demand for drones and 9-to-5’ers, particularly for those who seek the roles that generate higher pay. What will be valued is the ability to analyze situations and act accordingly. If circumstances suggest that the proper course of action is a “road less traveled”, the confidence and courage to act on that thinking will be needed.
If you choose to branch out and try a different approach, it’s best to ensure that your decision is grounded in a solid foundation of how things were done in the past. Doing something new is not an excuse to ignore the basics. It’s an opportunity to apply those fundamentals in a new and hopefully successful way.
My advice? Try something new. Don’t be afraid.