Taking a risk is never black & white

23rd December 2020

It is daunting to take risks for most of us, whether we’re going for a promotion, exploring a new career path or starting our own business. But it’s also true that no risk equals no reward, so how do we weigh up whether a risk is necessary to reap the benefits? Our Managing Director of Resourcing Solutions, Paul Johnson was joined by Kay White and Donna Scully in a panel discussion at Insurance Business’ recent Women in Insurance conference, examining how they’ve each made calls that have furthered their careers.

When approaching something that involves risk, Paul argues it’s important to ask ourselves how we’d feel if we didn’t do this. “A risk is never black and white, that to do one thing is risky and to do the alternative is safe, there are normally several options available, so taking a risk is about choosing the option which isn’t necessarily the safest but might yield the biggest rewards” He argues. “The biggest rewards isn’t just about financial rewards, but about achieving our end goal – no matter what that goal is.”

Paul has built his career around supporting people to achieve their career goals. He says that he always recommends that people should consider opportunities from as many different perspectives as possible – both what the downsides could be and how they would feel if they didn’t take it. Personally, Paul prefers to talk to other people about risks to gain different perspectives. “I recognise that sometimes I can get a bit blinkered in the way that I consider things. Trying to take a rounded view of a decision helps me” he says.

The panel discussed how they view risks, always looking for the opportunity alongside the downsides. For example coronavirus has impacted us in so many ways not least in the way we work, and there is no doubt that people have needed to adapt to a different world and pick up new skills. However, viewed from a different perspective, Paul argues “this is a great opportunity for us to rethink the way we work, it can open the door to flexibility and diversity across the workplace which is a really good thing.”

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