Upon graduation or even until today, most of us think that success in a career will be defined by three obvious recognition: getting salary raises, promotion, and big bonuses. And finally, move on to the next ‘what-so-called’ career journey and continuing that ‘success’ cycle (with nicer titles, of course). Yet, do you think all of that truly represent your definition of success?
No, I don’t think so.
Deciding your career path is undoubtedly one of the hardest decisions of your lifetime. Moreover, if you still have no idea or questioning what you are passionate about. While I’m not into the idea of ‘follow your passion’, I was quite surprised by how today’s Millenials manage their careers. Oftentimes, they blindly follow the crowd and leave aside the fact that everyone, including me and them, has different career journeys.
It’s no longer about who gets promoted early or who earns more money or who can jump from one job to another faster than the others. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that getting salary raise, promotion and big bonuses are all nice. But, it doesn’t mean that all of that will instantly fill your life with abundance either.
The key to living your own success is to first acknowledge that you’re unique, valuable and most importantly, not less-than the others. You have to realize that when it comes to career, knowing your own terms (re: guiding principles) is crucial.
Here are some ways to discover your own terms:
To me my career to yours your career
First thing first, never ever focus on other people’s standards of success. Some of us may look for money, power, or pride. While others searching for something bigger (and somewhat intangible) such as purpose. There’s nothing wrong with those options. Like I said before, everyone has their own preferences and choices which eventually leads them to different journeys. It’s easy to get fixated when you see your peers (seems) moving faster than you in terms of career/life, yet if you focus on them — you may overlook your own path of greater success.
So if you feel like quitting your job and start a new one will make you more successful, go for it. Otherwise, if you feel like staying in your current job will help you build your career capital better, then stay. Don’t follow others, follow your heart (and logic, of course).
Don’t force an outcome
As a normal human being, we are impatient. Just like startup founders who can’t wait to get their next funding (even though he/she just got one recently), we tend to rush things to see if we will eventually reach the desired outcome. If you work on a project and you already start to think the time you’ll quit that project — most likely you won’t enjoy the process.
Many of us unwittingly conditioned to think our success happens when we passed certain parameters (defined by society). There’s nothing wrong with setting up a target, in fact we all should do it. Yet, you have to understand that the process of getting there is as much important as achieving it. Don’t rush things that need times to grow.
Knowing your terms doesn’t mean you should slow down and accept whatever universe throws at you, yet it means you have to experience (and explore) more on what you think best for you — not what others think of you. Remember, we all have different path and priorities in life. For me, there’s no such a thing as ‘too late’ or ‘too old’ to be who you might have been, to rediscover yourself, or even to start all over again.