Take a Chance!

Want to know one way to catapult your career?

Take a chance!

As many of you know, I started my career in corporate accounting. I was fortunate to land a great job with Johnson & Johnson after IU in their financial leadership development program. 

I completed the 2 year program. Stayed with JNJ/DePuy for another year in Warsaw, IN. But, something was missing. 

Long story short, I decided to take a chance on recruiting. I moved to Indianapolis and joined Robert Half. That was 12 years ago.  

Imagine my parents when they got my call 3 years after graduating from IU with accounting and finance degrees:

“Hey guys, I’m leaving my great job at the iconic Johnson & Johnson for a 100% commission job in recruiting.”

Say what?!

To transition from a good paying corporate salary job to a commission job, I picked up a 2nd job when I started at Robert Half.

I worked nights at a liquor store (irony?) until I got things ramped up in the new job.

Wore a suit during the day, drove straight to 2nd job after work, changed in the bathroom. Worked until close. 

Living the dream, right?

A lot of people say they are up for a challenge or willing to take a risk.


Only a small portion of those are truly up for big challenges. Many are “up for a challenge” if it’s nice and tidy.

Only a small percentage of people are willing to take a big risk.

And that’s perfectly fine.

My point isn’t to degrade those that don’t take risks. It’s not for everyone. Risk tolerances are different. Personal situations come into play.

My point?

If you are willing to take some risk….

Willing to take a chance….

You can differentiate yourself from A LOT of people. 

Doing so can advance your career significantly. 

When people think of taking a chance…starting their own business often comes to mind. That certainly applies. But you can take a chance without becoming an entrepreneur.

It can be a new opportunity at a different company.

It can be an opportunity with your current employer.

These opportunities come in all shapes and sizes.

Doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Doesn’t have to be get rich or go broke. 


  • Lead a large ERP implementation
  • Join a company emerging from bankruptcy, help with the resurgence
  • In sales? Consider the struggling region nobody wants.
  • Run a manufacturing facility that’s been struggling

For most…your current or even next job is not your last.

When evaluating a challenging opportunity…don’t view it as a life sentence.

How will your resume look in 3 to 5 years if you knock it out of the park?

If it doesn’t go great, will you really be worse off? Or, will you easily be able to find your next job?

Not every challenging opportunity is worth taking.

However, in my experience, A LOT of people rule out opportunities at the first sound of risk…without fully vetting.

Evaluate opportunities before immediately ruling them out:

What is the upside?

Is there actual, significant risk or does it just seem that way?

Challenging opportunities are often the most rewarding. 

What challenging or risky opportunities have you pursued?

Have you taken a chance in your career?

I would love to hear your stories!

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