After spending the last week being underemployed I have been thinking more about success, and what that means for me in my career. After graduating with my Masters I pictured myself finally making a decent salary and working a job where I was respected, both by my co-workers and by society. Those two points are part of my definition of success.
But what does it really mean to be successful?
According to this recent article, success is easy to measure. Are you happy?
Not just at your work, not just at home, but overall in life…are you happy?
The answer to that questions depends on what you value.
That is a debate that come up on my Facebook a few weeks ago. A girl that I know is married and pregnant with her first child. One of her friends from High School just graduated with her Masters so she was talking to her and told her “congratulations” on getting her degree. The girls response was to say something along the lines of “Congratulations on getting pregnant…that’s an accomplishment too, I guess”
While I agree that her comment was incredibly rude, it sparked a response of comments from other mothers saying that being a mother is a much bigger accomplishment than getting a college degree. That all the girl has accomplished was getting herself into debt for a “worthless piece of paper”
The idea that not everyone defines success the same way seemed to be lost on most of these women.
For some people, being a mother and staying home with their children is what makes them happy, therefore they are going to feel that having a happy marriage and family is more important than college or a career.
Other women measure their success based on their salary and their degrees, they feel a sense of pride and happiness from climbing the corporate ladder.
Neither one of those choices is wrong, they are simply based on different perspectives and values.
If you aren’t happy it’s time to rethink how you define success, and start making changes to your professional and personal life that align with that definition, because what you’re doing now isn’t working for you.
And life is way too short for that.