How will you know if you are achieving career success?

Many people talk in generic terms about their career or worst still just drift along.

Many will say that they want to be successful in their career.

Of course what constitutes success will differ at different times in your career. In the early stages it is more likely to be about how much money you earn or increasing what you earn. Later on it might be more about having the right balance between time spent at and out of work.

The thing is that if you don’t define and revisit what your definition of career success is, then chances are that you will just go through the motions.

So how might you determine what career success means to you. A simple approach is to ask yourself a series of questions that you answer and then use it to create your own success definition.

You might for example ask yourself:

• How much you would like to be earning?
• What benefits you would like on top of your basic salary?
• What type of work would you typically be doing?
• What kind of organisation are you working in?
• What support you are getting to grow personally and professionally?
• Whether you can leave your work behind when you leave the office
• What kind of opportunities you are getting to contribute to the organisation being more successful?
• Whether you are getting the chance to get involved in special projects
• Whether your views and opinions are actively sought by those in leadership roles
• What you want in terms of relationships with colleagues and peers?

The major benefits of going through this type of exercise is that it:

1. Helps you to make decisions about job opportunities
2. Helps you to review your progress in a systematic way
3. Helps you to keep a sense of balance when the demands on you are significant.

For example in the first 5-10 years of my career, success was definitely measured in terms of the amount I earned as I started in accountancy at a very junior level.

Now it’s about earning enough and having the time to take care of my health and well being plus support an ageing parent.

So how about you? What’s your definition of success?

Duncan Brodie helps accountants and professionals build successful careers. Learn more here.

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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