Career Success: The Key Question You Must Answer

Whatever point you are at in your career, chances are that you want to achieve success.  The reasons why people want career success are varied and include:

• Financial rewards and benefits

• The status and standing of being in a senior role

• The challenge of climbing the career ladder and overcoming the obstacles that arise

• Sense of personal achievement

While there are a whole host of reasons why people want to achieve career success, there is in my experience one key question that you need to be able to answer.  So what is that question?


There are a number of reasons why it is essential that you answer this question and they include:

Reason 1: Helps you make choices

If you want to climb the career ladder and get a senior level post, you will need to gain a wide of skills, knowledge and experience.  In addition, you will have to develop a broad range of personal attributes.  Chances are there will be many opportunities that will arise which might appear attractive financially but might not be beneficial in achieving your overall career goal.  By being clear on your overall career goal you can make informed career move choices.

Reason 2: Helps you decide priorities

Every time you make a choice around your career, for example, stepping up to the next level, chances are you will be required to commit more to work.  If this fits in with your priorities around lifestyle then there is no problem.  The reality is that most people don’t take the time to consider where career fits into there overall lifestyle priorities.  We sometimes forget that the majority of people work to live not live to work.

Reason 3: Helps you determine how much you want it

Climbing the career ladder and holding down a job at a senior level is not easy.  A question you need to be able to answer is how much do you want it?  You will need to consider how determined you are, how much sacrifice you are ready to make, how much pressure you are comfortable dealing with to name just a few.  I suggest you rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 means that you want it 100% and are willing to do what it takes to get there.

Bottom Line- Achieving career success requires determination, drive and a whole range of other personal attributes.  At the end of the day you need to be clear on your overall career goal if you are to maximise your chances of career success.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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