1 Accept there are many ways to define career success:
Career success need not have a rigid, set definition. While many insist on defining career success based on measurable qualities, such as salary and ranking, there are many ways to define success in your career based on your goals. #*Part of what makes it difficult to precisely define career success is that there are so many factors at play. Your relationship with your co-workers, your reputation in your field, your salary, your benefits, and more all play a role in whether you can consider yourself successful. A lot of people feel overwhelmed by the many factors that influence their sense of success.
To avoid feeling stressed about whether your successful in traditional terms, try to view your career success in a personal manner. Do you fulfilled by your job? Are you happy going into work in the mornings? Much of success is unfortunately beyond your control. You need to accept there are various definitions of success and what ultimately matters is your own sense of worth and fulfillment.
2 Define your passions:
If you're looking to define success, first define your priorities and passions. Whether or not your career helps you fulfill your passions is a major determining factor in whether or not you feel successful.
Think about when you were younger. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child? What were your goals in college? Are you using your degree? Why or why not? Oftentimes, people fall into a career path and lose track of their true passions and interests. Conversely, people who feel stressed over their career feel successful when they realize their work truly reflects their passion.
Do not fear change. Sometimes, defining one's passions can help with a personal definition of success. Acknowledging what you're doing in the present moment is not, by your standards, successful is scary. It can also be an opportunity to grow. If you always wanted to be a teacher, for example, and work in marketing consider returning to school for a teaching degree. In some states, community colleges may allow you to teach with just an undergraduate education.
3 Examine factors that are important to you:
What is really important to you? Do you crave prestige and honor? Does climbing the corporate ladder, making connections, and closing deals sound like an ideal career? Or are you more idealistically oriented? Does the idea of making a difference and helping others inspire you? There is no wrong way to crave success, but acknowledging what factors truly matter to you as an individual can help you define success.
4 Define career success in your own terms:
It's vital that you avoid outside definitions of success. Research shows the happiest, most fulfilled people across all careers are those who define success based on personal goals, passions, and desires.
Try to write down your definition of success and put in a place where you can see it each day. Reminding yourself of your goals can help you on your way to success.
Your definition of success should be somewhat vague. As so much of success is beyond your personal control, keep your definition all encompassing. Something like, "I want to feel fulfilled in my work every day and do a job that's intellectually stimulating for me."
5 View life as a continuos journey rather than a series of goals:
Many people view success as a series of goals. You get your degree, then a job, then a promotion, and so on. Oftentimes, people find their measurable success to be somewhat hollow and disappointing. Once you've reached a goal, you may feel disappointed that you're not as happy or fulfilled as you thought. Instead, view your life as a continuos journey where you try to do a bit better each day. This will keep you stimulated and emotionally and intellectually active longterm.
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