Episode No. 86
  •  May 18, 2022

Success is Within Your Reach

But You Need to Define it First.

Are you motivated to achieve the objective markers of success in your career such as money, power and status? Perhaps you are seeking more subjective things such as challenging work, recognition or autonomy. Regardless of how you define success, the way to achieve it is through deep personal work, commitment and grit. 


What is success at work to you? You can think about a job well done, tasks completed, a healthy team, and you can also think on a larger scale about a successful career.  The data shows that your definition of success changes as you get more experience, and is sometimes a reflection of where you live and who you live with – the external definitions of success can have a powerful impact on you.  The focus of this episode is the big picture of success and a subjective definition that aligns with each of our values, allows for authenticity, makes the best use of our skills and talents and challenges us to grow.

Traditional markers of career success such as title, salary, promotions, and the like are great to a point, but they are not the whole picture and are missing some of the important considerations.  Harvard Business Review points us to the subjective measures of success: 

  • Performing work that we find interesting and fascinating
  • Overcoming challenges
  • Having autonomy in how you perform your work
  • Developing new skills and deepening existing ones
  • Having work and personal life complement and enrich each other
  • Being recognized as an expert
  • Having the trust of your colleagues and superiors
  • Building valuable relationships inside and outside of your organization
  • Contributing to shared knowledge in your organization by training others
  • Collaborating effectively with a team of talented colleagues
  • Receiving recognition for your achievements and contributions
  • Seeing the positive impact of your work on end users or on society
  • Leaving a legacy that you’re proud of

Success requires a growth mindset, goal setting and tracking, authenticity and self awareness and confidence.  Success is a long trajectory and will come with setbacks and change – these are the prickly parts to embrace as we create our own versions of success. As we define success for ourselves and move in that direction by setting goals and monitoring our progress, it is important to remember the big picture and treat not only the achievements but also the learnings along the way as markers that we are on the path to success, as we each define it.

Rethink What You “Know” About High-Achieving Women (hbr.org) 

How to write your own definition of success – step-by-step formula — Imogen Roy | Create a legendary life and never burn out again

Make Your Career a Success by Your Own Measure

5 Ways Success Can Change Someone | Psychology Today