What is Your Definition of Career Success?

Mark’s an intelligent man. He did well in school – so well in fact, that he had the option of doing anything he wanted.

But, Mark didn’t do what he wanted. Instead, he chose to please his parents and started a law degree.

Mark’s a lawyer now. In fact, he’s just made it to partner, and it seems like Mark has it all.

But Mark’s miserable. And he’s beginning to take it out on everyone around him. He hates who is becoming but can’t seem to get himself back on track.

Have you ever taken a path you thought you were supposed to, only to realise it was never what you wanted?

Living according to someone else’s definition of success is a mistake

Mark has done what many of us do – choosing to follow a path laid out before us because we think others know better or know something that we don’t.

This three-box model of career success where you study, work in one traditional career for your entire life and then retire doesn’t suit everyone, and it’s certainly becoming the exception, rather than the norm in our contemporary, fast-paced times.

The key to your successful career, can’t be determined by anyone else. A fulfilling career means something different to everyone because it relies on maximising those factors that an individual finds enriching.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution and choosing a career to please others certainly won’t get you there either.

Finding your own definition of career success

Eric Barker, author of Barking Up the Wrong Tree, suggests defining success through subjective measures. According to Barker, those are:

Achievement: Do you feel like you’re winning?

Legacy: Do you feel like you’re influencing others in a positive way?

Significance: Do you feel like you’re needed by the people closest to you?

Happiness: Do you feel like you’re enjoying life?

With the help of my career coaching and his own definition of success, Mark decided it was time to down tools on his law career. It’s the best thing he ever did, and his new career in the film production space fulfils him in a way his law career never did (and never could).

Would you like some help identifying your own definition of career success? Contact me or get your hands on my new book – coming soon!

Keyword: definition of career success


Greg Weiss is Australia’s leading career coach. He is the author of “So You Got The Job! WTF Is Next?”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7-step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf

He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.

He also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.

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