Risk VS Reward

Risk VS Reward

Value of success versus the cost/risk of failure.

Life is full of opportunities!

I don't believe that anyone set's out to make choices that will make life more difficult than it is. However, I do believe that many people make decisions that have a short-term benefit knowing that it will have a long-term consequence.

"They know what they should do; but they also know what they want to do."

Beyond Delayed Gratification:

Many of the Major Decisions (decisions that limit other opportunities for more than a year) that you face have some element of risk vs reward. These Major Decisions need to be thought about as what could I gain from the experience versus what could I lose.

Buying a car before you are properly prepared (more on that here) gains you mobility, independence, ability to earn more. It also costs you money that you currently enjoy on other things and may limit your ability to have a nicer apartment to go along with your better job. It's not necessarily a bad decision it's just a "less-than-good" decision.

Real quickly: this concept also applies to your interpersonal communication as well, how you behave in school and at work. What is to be gained by participating in certain activities versus the risk of loss that goes with it. Acting unprofessionally at a work party may change the bosses view of you as a potential candidate for a promotion. However, not participating in some good nature activity may also show that you are not very "human."

No doubt, it is hard to juggle risk/reward when looking at decisions. I just ask that you consider it before you make that " it makes me feel better purchase" or before you decide to let loose on a sarcastic remark. Remember, what do you stand to gain versus what you could lose.


  1. What is a time when you knew what you should do but it conflicted with what you wanted to do? Have you ever gone ahead and did what you SHOULD do instead?

  2. Is there a behavior that you could change that would benefit you in the long-term even though it would be hard in the short-term?

  3. What decision have you made that after you have lived with the decision for a while turned out to be a "less-than-good" one? What could you do differently the next time you have a similar choice?


Lecture Guide

PowerPoint: Career Research - Activity

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