How Risk Informed, Decision Making Change a Life
Guest Post by John Ayers (first posted on CERM ® RISK INSIGHTS – reposted here with permission)
Risk Based Informed Decision Making (RIDM) has a risk assessment as input as well as social and other benefits residual risks. This data or information empowers the person to make an informed decision. This following is an example of RIDM.
I have a 26-year-old granddaughter (Karen) who studied and got certified in orthopedic massage. Karen worked for several companies before starting her own business. At first, her business was going pretty well. She had a core of clients that were loyal and used her service frequently. As time went on, it started to become apparent to her that she could not make a living with her message business.
The Story – Massage business
Karen’s business was on Bolyston street Boston, a very expensive area. She paid premium rent to be located there. In addition, there were a number of competitors in the same neighborhood. Her business and others in the area had a number of clients that ran the marathon and were involved in other sports. The orthopedic messages helped the sports clients significantly which is the main reason why they kept coming back. Of course, Karen was excellent at her craft and was one of the best in the area which helped as well. She even gave massages to a movie star who happened to be in the area. To grow her business, she spent a lot of time on marketing, a job she had no experience in and was not too comfortable doing. For example, the days before the running of Boston marathon, she set her massage table up on Boylston street in front of her building and offered free 10-minute massages to runners. It was a mild success and she did get a couple of new clients from her efforts.
She soon realized making a living with her massage business was not working. She had to do something else.
Her Journey – Coding
Karen started to do research on coding (Ruby, Java Script and other applications) as a potential new career. She found a number of online courses that provide instructions and a certification. Karen liked one boot camp in particular . The course was estimated to take about 9 months. She did apply and found out she was eligible for a scholarship with a 50% discount because she was a woman. The boot camp was trying to entice women into the profession and the scholarship was an incentive. Karen joined the course and if all went well she would graduate with a certificate as a developer. For this career path, starting salary’s ranges from $45K up to $100K based on research she did.
Her Risk Informed, Decision Making
Karen went through a RIDM process without knowing or calling it this name. One risk she encountered is-will I like it? She was excellent at math and very accomplished on computers. Her dad and step dad were into IT (information technology) and computers, so she had resources for help as needed. These facts mitigated her risk concern.
Another risk she contemplated was salary. She wanted to relocate to Los Angeles and follow her dream but was not certain she could make the income to support herself in California. Based on her research, she felt in the long run she could but was uncertain about the first year or two. Karen knew that if push came to shove she could do some massages to make extra money. With these facts in hand, she felt this risk was mitigated.
Karen enjoyed her business because she was the boss and reported to no one. Another risk was-will I fit into a new company and all of the office politics that go along with it? Karen found out many developers work remotely. It was fairly common. Based on this information, she felt she could get a remote job and eliminate this risk.
Karen currently has one more project to finish at the boot camp before getting her certificate. This should take about 1 month. In the meantime, she interviewed and got a job. Karen will be an independent contractor for about 2 months before going direct employment. This will allow her time to finish her studies and also to provide the company time to assess her performance. The good news is, she is getting a rate as an independent contractor that is equivalent to 100K per year. Now she has the income to move to LA and follow her dream.
Karen by nature is a risk taker. She reinvented herself into a growing future industry. Her RIDM allowed her to examine all of the information including social and other benefits and make a good decision.
The important point is she is now part of the gig economy which prefers to work remotely and avoid the corporate office and office politics. The gig economy is becoming more and more popular especially with millennials. Time will tell how successful she will be but I am betting she will be outstanding.
- Be a risk taker. Reinvent yourself if necessary.
- Go through the RIDM process before making career and life impacting decisions. It works
- Follow your dreams. Work hard. And, these will set you free.
John earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS in Engineering Management from Northeastern University. He has a total of 44 years’ experience, 30 years with DOD Companies. He is a member of PMI (project Management Institute). John has managed numerous firm fixed price and cost plus large high technical development programs worth in excessive of $100M. He has extensive subcontract management experience domestically and foreign. John has held a number of positions over his career including: Director of Programs; Director of Operations; Program Manager; Project Engineer; Engineering Manager; and Design Engineer.His technical design areas of experience include: radar; mobile tactical communication systems; cryogenics; electronic packaging; material handling; antennas; x-ray technology; underwater vehicles; welding; structural analysis; and thermal analysis. He has experience in the following areas: design; manufacturing; test; integration; selloff; subcontract management; contracts; risk and opportunity management; and quality control. John is a certified six sigma specialist, certified level 2 EVM (earned value management) specialist; certified CAM (cost control manager).