What IS Success?

Today’s bingo topic is “Career Success” – I can tell you right off the bat, that I’ve come to learn that this means all sorts of things to all sorts of people, and, to make it even more interesting, I believe it changes throughout your life. What a weird opening.

It sure seems to be the case. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, some extreme peaks and valleys thrown in throughout. I’m not sure at the “highs” that I’d call it success, but at the same time, it’s hard to call all the lows failures.

man wearing grey shirt standing on elevated surface
Photo by Julian Jagtenberg on Pexels.com

I’ve just recently had to bundle up all of my experience to date, package it up, and set out in a new direction. I’m loving this new direction so far, it’s really quite different and plays to a lot of things I *like* doing rather than *must* do to continue the job arc that I was chasing for decades.

Do I feel like I failed out of the prior work? Maybe a bit. But mostly just that the world changed and it was time to change with it. NOT changing with it would likely have turned it into a failure, sure. But leveraging lessons learned in one part of life to move into another, well, it worked out.

To me, career success is doing things that you like, being respected for what you have, what you bring to the party, and for what you do well. That’s different, I think, than doing a role well, and being liked for checking off responsibilities. Still important, but if someone says “career success” it’s more than “succeeding at your career” it edges into that other realm of “and you get to do things you like and have the respect of peers for it.”

Is that a weird way of looking at it?


I can tell you, though, at some of those highs I mentioned early on, we may have been thrilled to be going through those good times, but it didn’t have as much of the peer support as you may think. “They’re too young, they are lucky, how in the world did that happen for them and not us?”

We heard all of these. Not in a righteous, feel sorry for us way, but rather in a weird “place your bets” rhythm of society in general, we experienced those. And, of course, the lows – the lows were just “karma” or were “told you so” moments. No one chose to balance the risk, the lows, and the highs.

But recently, it’s started to pay off in calm. Calm approaches to work. Get things done because you know how to do it, how to leverage it, etc. Get things done you like doing. Get things done that are important and help move the needle forward.

Now, looking back on experiences, those experiences are suddenly important. You’ve been through “X” and “Y”? Great! Help us NOT go there! LOL

I think career success is getting to acceptance of your experiences, application of your expertise, and that respect for what you can bring to the party. To me, when those align with things you like doing, that’s success.

Wicked Wednesday

2 Replies to “What IS Success?”

  1. I absolutely agree with you on your last paragraph, and this: “I’ve come to learn that this means all sorts of things to all sorts of people”. Also that it changes throughout life. To me, there once was a time where I wanted to climb the ladder, that I saw that as career success, but now my success is liking what I do for a job.
    ~ Marie xox

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