career success

“If your success if not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all” Anna Quindlen

Many of the people that I work with have been following a career path because they thought it was the right thing to do. They graduated from university and started to work their way up the corporate ladder. Everybody else was doing it, so they did it too. And they did it exceptionally well. The promotions came along, as did the pay rises that went with the promotions. They are highly regarded within their organisation but they are not happy.

While to the outside world, it looks like they have it all, internally they lack fulfillment and purpose.

I encourage my clients and I want to encourage you to define success on your own terms so that it does feel good in your heart.

To help you get clarity on what success looks like to you:

Map Out Your Ideal Day/Week

You can choose whether to focus on a day or a week. For some people, a day makes sense as there is an element of routine to the work that they want to do. For others, the type or location of work that they do may vary throughout the week, so it makes more sense to look at the week as a whole.

This is an opportunity to play and get creative about how you want to spend your time. Use your imagination but you can also get highly practical and get into the nitty, gritty and logistics of your day. The aim is to get super-clear on what your ideal day or week would look like.

  • What will you spend your time doing?
  • What time will your day start?
  • How many hours will you work each day?
  • Where will you carry out your work?
  • If you don’t work from home how long is your commute?
  • Will you work alone or part of a team?
  • Will you manage other team members?
  • Will you have a lot of responsibility?
  • Will your work involve travel?
  • How will your work fit with other family commitments?


Understand Your Financial Motivations

Building a successful career is not just about the amount of money that you earn. However, you need money in order to put food on the table and a roof over your head so it needs to be part of your consideration of what career success looks like to you.

Ask yourself:

  • How much do you need to earn?
  • How much do you want to earn?
  • What is the gap between what you need to earn and what you want to earn?
  • Are there elements of your ideal working day that take a higher priority than earning what you want to earn vs what you need to earn?

This last question helps to unearth your priorities around what you are willing to sacrifice for incremental financial reward.

Would you accept a lower salary than you would ideally want so that you could permanently work from home? Or so that you could work a 4 day week? Or so that you could walk to work each day?

Your Desire For Development

Your ongoing progress and development is also a major factor in determining what your career success looks like.

Before you start planning ahead, spend a few moments reflecting on your progress so far.

You can do this by drawing a simple timeline from the start of your career until the present day and noting down the key milestones that stand out along the way, this could be promotions, professional qualifications or informal milestones like when you felt like you had truly mastered a new skill or performed well on a particular piece of work.

And now look ahead to the future and ask yourself:

  • How would I like to continue to develop in my career?
  • What does that look like specifically? For example, qualifications, courses, skill development, industry experience?
  • What resources do I need to help me to develop?
  • How can I make a contribution and support others with their career development?

To find out how I can support you to create your own definition of career success, book a time to talk HERE.