Everyone strives for success in the workplace. To feel that you have achieved something, to be seen as successful, is a dream that extends all over the world. But when are you really successful? And how important is that? The answer is not the same for everyone. Many people struggle with what success means to them personally.
If you don’t define success on your own terms, you’ll soon find out that you’re chasing success based on other people’s perceptions, like friends.
Of course, there are shared traits of success like owning a house, driving a nice car, having time for your family, or having the financial freedom to travel. These are tangible forms of success, but does it make you happy? Well, it’s at this that we derive satisfaction.
Success or happiness, which one should come first?
What are the things that make you happy? This is an important question. Of course, If you meet the material success factors, then you automatically become a happy person, isn’t it? However, people who value intangible happiness more than money are more likely to achieve what we call ‘traditional characteristics of success’. In other words, for them, happiness boosts success and achievement, rather than success boosting happiness.
The most important question: how will you define work success?
The path to success is personal, but at the same time, you are pressurized through (social) media with examples of what success looks like. You see the cool jobs and read about the highest salaries. But do those images match the life you want to lead? If so, are they realistic goals to pursue? We understand that it is difficult to define our own success factors, especially in the field of work. The list below will help us determine whether we consider ourselves successful in the field of work, and what we would like to change or not.
- Assess the quality of your work
Think about your job. Not only on your salary or position but on the contribution you make. How do you make a positive contribution to the firm or someone else’s life, like a colleague, customer/client? Do you solve problems that make others more productive? Are you delivering the best to the firm? Whatever sector you work in, think about the good things you contribute and get satisfaction.
- Check if you have enough flexibility
A good work-life balance is an important measure of success. Flexibility as to doing tasks and adopting at the earliest, balancing work and life as well equally matters.
- Evaluate your personal growth
Do you ever look back on the growth you have made personally and professionally in recent years? It’s good to be busy with the future, but also be proud of the steps you’ve made so far. For example, think about how you have become smarter, more experienced, and more skilled. All the skills you’ve developed, the knowledge you’ve gained, the new people you’ve met. They are all important pillars for personal and business success.
- Avoid the comparison trap
It is very easy today to compare yourself to someone else. On television, or via social media. You are constantly exposed to different conceptions of success.
If a friend on Facebook or WhatsApp or whichever platform shares a photo of their car, then the comparison with your own life is quickly made. We forget that only the best moments are shared. Perhaps your neighbor has saved up to five years for his world trip. Or he was turned down several times before being hired for that big job. A perfect life doesn’t come naturally to anyone. Your (online) friends probably face the same challenges as you, perhaps to a greater or lesser extent.
In conclusion, success is relative and its definition is based on an individual’s vision for their life. The above will fuel us to not only have an awesome and progressive work experience but also enable us to beat the game of life. It works, let’s see through and redefine or define ourselves.
By Eugene Mulinzi, D&A