Success In Relation to Career Fulfillment

I’ve mentioned a million times that I’m a very goal-oriented person. I’ve got to have a target, and if I can’t find one I usually make it. While I am a goal oriented person, I’m also someone that needs to be challenged on a day-to-day basis. I need mini-goals, problems to solve, projects to start and work toward. I need this in my day job. I’m pretty good at creating it outside of work. Projects and accomplishments are how I quantify success.

What if my current position did not align with my personal factors for success? What if my career path needed a trajectory change?

I’ve been doing career development through LinkedIn Learning and I stumbled across a Managing Your Career: Mid-Career course. I haven’t finished it. Once I got started it seem a weird course to do at work, so I plan to finish it at home. However, the few tidbits of information I’ve received thus-far have been enough to spur some internal deliberation.

How do you analyze success? I think that can be a broad brush and painted individually, but is there a more narrowed focus, series of questions that each of us could ask ourselves that would help us really narrow down how we judge what makes us successful?

  1. Focus on meaning and fulfillment. Do you feel like what you do has meaning. This could be on a grand scale–like curing childhood cancer–or on a small scale–like keeping the CEO from losing his mind in a pile of emails. Do you find it fulfilling? Are you enriched or exhausted? Are you challenged or bored?
  2. Explore feelings of accomplishment. Look back on what you’ve done so far. Are there projects and moments at your current position or in your career where you feel truly proud? Are they high in number? Do they give you a sense that you are on the right path?
  3. Align current job with ideas of success. Does what you currently do, the career path you chose, correlate with your ideas of success? Are they stepping stones to what you view as being successful?

Once you’ve analyzed your success factors, how do they align with your career? If you view your current position as successful or a pathway to success, does your current position or company offer the following:

  • Promotions/Avenues for advancement
  • Resources and initiatives: Do they support career development and growth?
  • Motivation

If your ideas of success do not align with your current career or company’s positioning, consider the following:

  • Would you be better suited in a different role? Would that role provide the advancement and growth you are looking for? Would it keep you competitive?
  • Would you be better suited by an industry change? Do you want to work with different materials/people/scopes? Are you bored by your current industry?
  • Maybe the industry is good but the organization isn’t meeting your needs? Is it time to start looking for another place to put down career roots?

What defines your career happiness?

  1. What are your strengths?
  2. What is the work culture you are looking for?
  3. What do you need in your life? What makes you happy and how could a potential employer supply that? What type of employer/organization are you looking for?

If you come to a road where you realize that your definitions of success do not align with your career, and you realize you need a change, where do you start?

Well, that’s the next phase of the course and I haven’t quite got it figured out, but I can leave you with this…

To pivot your career, considering doing one of the following:

  1. Leverage your current role or industry to find new opportunities.
  2. Develop a parallel career. Could moonlighting fill that career success void? (This is what I currently do)
  3. Start a business.

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