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For Every Job, There’s Always A Riskier One

No matter who you ask, someone else’s job is always scarier.

For Every Job, There’s Always A Riskier One
CEO

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CEO

Brett Martin, CEO, Sonar
RISK? WHAT
RISK?
“If you do a startup and fail, but you take a good stab at it, you’ll gather such
resources and make such connections, that ultimately, you’ve learned.”
IT’S RISKIER
TO BE . . .
“An artist. You might put in the most effort
but get no financial reward if no one buys what you’ve made.”

artist

ARTIST

Emily Noelle Lambert, painter and
sculptor

RISK? WHAT RISK? “I developed other skills along the way,
like teaching, so there’s always something I can fall back on.”
IT’S RISKIER TO BE .
. .
“A politician. You depend on money from the state to
do your job well. In this economy, that’s risky.”

politician

POLITICAN

Sam Adams, Mayor of Portland, Oregon
RISK?
WHAT RISK?
“I’m surrounded by professionals in risk assessment.”
IT’S
RISKIER TO BE . . .
“An emergency aid worker. They’re
often first to arrive at dangerous and unstable situations.”

emergency aid
worker

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EMERGENCY AID WORKER

Michelle Jackson, AmeriCares
RISK?
WHAT RISK?
“In Japan, our medical director sent us radiation readings and told us exactly
what to do in an emergency.”
IT’S RISKIER TO BE . . . “A soldier. They’re running around streets full of people with guns. It’s
so frightening.”

soldier

SOLDIER

Nancy Schiliro, former Marine
RISK? YOU BET. “Every day I woke up in Iraq was a big risk. I was shot by RPGs and hit by bombs. I
never knew where I was going and if I was going to come back alive–that was the scariest part of
my job.”
IT’S RISKIER TO BE . . . An “entrepreneur. With the economy today, anyone trying to make it on their
own is taking a risk. It’s easy to fill out an application to get a job,; it’s not as easy to start
a business.”

entrepreneur

ENTREPRENEUR

Blake Mycoskie, CEO and founder, Toms Shoes
Risk? What risk? “Our ideas seemed crazy years ago, but we’ve proven that business
and philanthropy aren’t mutually exclusive.”
It’s also risky to be a . . .
Working in finance. One day things can look great, and the next
day the market crashes.”

financial
adviser

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FINANCIAL ADVISER

Sisse Ferguson, Northwestern Mutual
Risk? What risk? “Market uncertainty has showed why long-term financial planning
is so important. In tough times, I have my best years.”
IT’S RISKIER TO BE . .
.
“A construction worker. Dangling in a harness off the
side of a building–the risk seems all too great.”

construction
worker

CONSTRUCTION WORKER

Bryan Brady, director of training, Ironworkers Locals 40
and 361 in New York City

Risk? You bet. “We’re working with
2,000-pound steel beams on a regular basis. Any little mishap is a broken ankle.”
It’s also risky to be a . . . “A commercial
fisherman
. If you’re out in the ocean and the weather turns, you have a long way to go.”

fisherman

COMMERICAL FISHERMAN

Keith Colburn, crabbing captain on Deadliest Catch

Risk? You bet. “I’ve traveled into waters with 8- and 10-foot
waves that can literally sink a ship just so I could be the only person fishing somewhere. And you
never know where that wave with your name on it is lurking.”
It’s riskier to
be..
Someone else, of course. And on it goes.

Dan Klimke

A version of this article appears in the November 2011 issue of Fast
Company.