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Seven and a Half Chances You Won’t Regret Taking In Life

Seven and a Half Chances You Won’t Regret Taking In Life

What are the chances you WON’T regret taking in life?

Everyone comes to a point in their life when they face a decision that involves risk. Perhaps it’s having a baby; starting or ending a relationship; or perhaps changing careers, changing cities or changing their entire life.

What if it’s you? Do you twist or stick?

You look at all the money you could lose; the humiliation you could face; the pain of having to start all over again with another person, or another job, or perhaps another country.

Is it going to be worth it?

If you’re facing such a decision, this may make it easier for you; here are six and a half chances you won’t ever regret taking.

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1. Taking the chance to fail.

No one ever regrets trying and failing, not afterwards. If you gave it your best shot and came up short, at least you won’t die wondering. Yes, you could look dumb in front of your friends when that beautiful girl says no to a date; you could lose money if the business venture goes wrong; you could come back with your tail between your legs if you couldn’t stick out that new life in Spain or Thailand or Vladivostock. But what if you win out? And even if you don’t, suddenly you’re a risk taker and you’ll look different—to yourself and everyone who knows you.

2. Taking a chance on yourself.

You can’t go to your grave thinking you’re not old enough or young enough or smart enough or good enough, not if you want to live a life well lived. No one ever regretted taking a chance on finding out they were more than they thought they were. No one ever regretted backing themselves to try—even if you fall short of your goal you will find out along the way that you’re much more than you think you are.

 “I wondered about the explorers who’d sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge; how amazed to discover, instead, places they had seen only in their dreams.”
Jodi Picoult, Handle With Care

3. Taking a chance on feeling afraid.

Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s soiling your shorts and facing the fear anyway.

Why would anyone run with bulls, dive with sharks, or jump off 250 meter bridges? I did all those things in the span of one month a few years back and I have no regrets. Was I terrified? You betcha. But I found out I could face and beat my fears, and that’s the most important lesson of all.

But you don’t just do it for fun; your fears stand in the way of your success—you’re afraid of letting that guy you love into your life; afraid of striking out on your own in business; afraid of giving up your day job to following your passions full time. Feeling afraid and risking all anyway is one chance you’ll never ever, ever regret.

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4. Taking a chance on love.

Yes, you could really end up hurt here; but if you wait to find the perfect man, the perfect woman, you may find out that they don’t exist or that they’re a perfect bust when you do find them. Your job isn’t to find love, but to find out the walls you have built against it.

“A ship in harbor is safe—but that is not what ships are for.”

John A. Shedd

5. Taking a chance on your dreams.

I worked on an ambulance for many years and took many people on their last ride. Some of those folk knew what was coming, and so we had some interesting conversations. I can’t reveal much of what they said to me but I can tell you this; the ones who had followed their dreams had no regrets whatsoever, no matter how things turned out; the ones who didn’t mourned the waste of it all deeply.

6. Taking a chance on your own worth.

This may mean you need to fight for what you deserve—or it could mean being strong enough to let you go of what you don’t deserve, especially in relationships. In some cases, you risk losing the relationship or perhaps losing your job or your promotion. But if you also gain your self respect, that’s a chance you won’t ever regret taking.

“It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don’t. They sit in front of the TV and treat life as if it goes on forever.”

Philip Adams

7. Taking a chance on feeling

The biggest risk of all: many of us close off big parts of ourselves because others could hurt us, or betray us, or leave us. We don’t think we could stand it.

But feelings of deep loss, inconsolable grief—these feelings only result from loving deeply. But if we never know what love feels like, what grief is, then we have not lived a real life.

So taking a chance on feeling—however it comes out—that’s not something we should ever regret.

… And taking the half chance.

You know the moment when you have to say “yes” or “no” and you don’t have time to think; the man who asks you if you’d like a drink, but you’re late for an appointment; the friend who rings you and says there’s a big job opening in London but you have to get to the interview across town in an hour; the house that’s just come on the market at a bargain price and you’re not sure if you can afford it.

These are the half chances that you look back on later in life. Can you trust your instincts? If you can, then follow them. You’ll never regret it.

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“First you jump off the cliff and you build wings on the way down.”

Ray Bradbury

So go ahead. Take a chance. If it’s one of the seven and a half chances above, then what do you have to lose?

Because there are just some chances you won’t ever regret, no matter what the gods decide.

Featured photo credit: Geralt via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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