everyone wants to enjoy at least some aspect of their activities. It could be the clients and colleagues you work with, the visible changes seen from the work, or the work itself. If there isn't some aspect of satisfaction though, the chances of sticking to a certain profession or career for long aren't very good. Feeling satisfied is essential to building a successful career. Here's the thing when it comes to career success - there is no clear definition. Now, of course, there are ideas of what career success looks like, but this is largely driven by our peers, family members, those in the industry, and society in general. Because of this, it's not uncommon for people to have a lack of clarity when reaching out to define what career success looks like and how it aligns with their personal values. Maybe it means a certain amount of zeros on their paychecks, or maybe it means life is convenient but allows more space for family time or hobbies. These ideas are quite vague, and really only superficial. Achieving the level of career success that you want really comes down to two simple things: determining what it looks like for you and paving the way to get there. There are obviously other factors that come into play, but these two things are of paramount importance.
Define your vision of career success
We all need a purpose. It is one of the characteristics that define us as human beings and without it a person runs the risk of wandering aimlessly through life depressed and very possibly broke. Sorry to sound like a bore, but what I'm getting at is that goal is a huge part in determining and then succeeding in your career. If you ask the top 50 CEOs in the world what their goal was, it is a guarantee that they will have an accurate answer, and the answers are likely to be very different. In order to define what success looks like to you, it's a good idea to take a step back and discard what others have told you about success. This is the part where a lot of people make the mistake of listing achievements they want to hit on how to make x amount of money or x in the title next to their name on their resume. Achievements are great, but make no mistake, they don't necessarily equal a lasting feeling of contentment and success. Famed LA Lakers coach Pat Riley, the man who won five NBA championships but was told he wasn't happy yet and called it "a disease more." Psychologists have long argued that it's all too common for people to put too much self-assessment on their accomplishments. At best, these accomplishments leave them with a fleeting sense of satisfaction that only results. I'm going to do some zen on you here. When you try to define your idea of a successful career, it seems to include the goals you want to achieve, but also ask why you want to achieve them. Perhaps it's important to you that you make long-term impacts in your career area or carve out a career that constantly presents new and exciting challenges. Maybe you want to achieve a level of success that combines both of these factors and allows you to work on your own recruiting schedule. Don't be afraid to spend a little time digging and wondering what kind of achievements you want to achieve in line with your personal values and outlook on life. You are likely to find that your idea of a successful career changes at different points in your life. He learns how to clearly define what, however, success looks like, which will always be a key component to finding it.
Is satisfaction part of your job?
According to a 2019 survey, a third of American workers have thought about turning their jobs into retirement over the past year. Among this group, 57% said they were “somewhat” or “very well-earned”, meaning money was not an issue.((Access to benefits: Benefits and Benefits by Statistics - The Ultimate Collection)) The problem is that these people are not getting the level of job satisfaction that they need. If you're not happy with what you're doing or the job you're doing, then guess what, you probably won't feel like you're beating it out of the park in terms of career success. As for why a person can't experience contentment, that could be for a variety of reasons, ranging from an easy job with little room for growth or just a nasty office. Realize what your personal view of career success is, the more adept you will be at analyzing how your job satisfaction plays into it. Truly successful professionals tend to make it a habit to look for the best in every position they have. Most of us haven't been lucky enough to land our dreams since our very first job, and even if the planets align for you, there's a good chance your idea of a dream job will change. With every task you undertake, however, you must consciously look for the aspects of it that you find most rewarding. A person may take on a job simply because the salary was decent and in line with their skill set, but surprise themselves to discover that the highest level of satisfaction is due to customer relationships. By taking an inside look at what is satisfactory or unsatisfactory about a particular job, you are better prepared for the next step that will lead you to your dream job and build your definition of a successful career.
Find career success includes strategic risk
So you've blocked out what outside influences told you about career success seems to be, and cut out what that means to you. Fantastic! You've made it a habit to find out which areas of job satisfaction are important. Great! Now the hardest part is taking some risks and blazing your way to a successful career. Whatever your idea of career success, it doesn't seem to happen by accident. Successful careers are shaped in a number of ways, but a certain amount of strategy will always take into account the hard work. Some form of risk will almost always be involved in achieving career success. This could be anything from moving to a new city for a job or taking on a low-paying position because it puts you on the right path to where you want to go. You must overcome the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone and embarking on a new challenge if you hope to find fulfillment and ultimately career success. The good news is that the discomfort that more often than not the benefit of doing so outweighs the risk of failure. Also, taking these opportunities will give you some incredible insight into what you are really made of. Keep in mind that never comes out much worse than falling down. How to create some kind of strategy for taking these risks and building a successful career, there are many ways to apply the strategy to success:
1. Look for those whose careers you want to emulate
This can provide some valuable knowledge about what to do and what not to do, as well as help you recognize what your own version of what career success looks like.
2. Be around the right people
It doesn't mean trying to suck up to the boss just hoping to get something. What I'm talking about here is to put yourself around people who have a positive outlook and can teach you, or at least inspire you. Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger immediately told CNBC:
“I have always surrounded myself with the right people and people who are very bright, passionate and hardworking.”
For Hilfiger, this meant building a strong circle of friends and mentors, such as Terrence Lundgren, CEO of Macy's Department Store, who he could turn to for support and understanding. Get some inspiration from this article: The hidden power of every person around you
Are you ready?
Building the successful career you want will never be easy. Not everyone will eat what they need and a certain amount of mental fortitude is required. It's not meant to be annoying, but that's just the reality of life. With the right mindset, however, and some strategy and sweat, you can carve out personal satisfaction, a successful career, and find deep-seated goals and satisfaction. Keep in mind, on your own journey, what career success seems to be for you and don't be afraid to ask yourself regularly, are you making the moves and taking the risk necessary to find it?
More Tips for a Successful Career
- 7 Powerful Actions for Career Success
- How to set ambitious career goals (with examples)
- Master these 15 success skills to get ahead in your career