Q. I have a friend who has been immensely successful in her career, but she has taken chances, or risks, that I wouldn't dream of taking. When she was offered a new job, and didn't really want to take it, she told her boss, and he gave her a raise and sent her flowers to convince her to stay and later promoted her. I'd have been afraid to do that for fear of being told to leave. When is it right to take chances, and when do you play it safe?
Ans. Your friend was very lucky to get that response. It's not wise to take a chance like that if you don't really want to leave, or in an economy like this one where you have less chance of finding a better job. And some experts believe you never have to take dramatic risks to get ahead. Rick Smith, co-author of "The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers" believes successful people rarely take great risks, but instead build their exposure over time to ensure they achieve their goals. Instead of breaking from a career path, he advises you spend time learning, gaining knowledge, and hands-on experience to ensure future success. On the other hand, all of life contains risks and you do have to use your good judgment when you make any moves pro or con in your personal and professional lives.