There is a huge difference between accomplishment and success. Many people are accomplished. They earn competitive credentials, secure high-profile jobs, build sought-after careers and earn top-tier salaries and incomes. These are several examples of the standards by which many in society define career success. But these items, degrees, job titles, desirable careers and great pay; represent accomplishments. And the problem here is that accomplishments alone do not necessarily equate to career success.
Career success is a combination of achieving a reasonable level of financial stability while doing work you enjoy and then finding that you are also happy and fulfilled with your life and career choices as well. If you love your job but find that it doesn’t lead to financial self-sufficiency, career success is diminished, and if you get paid very well but lack joy or interest in your chosen career field, career success is diminished.
True career success requires that there is alignment between the two.
People who experience meaningful career success recognize that money and titles aren’t the whole of it. They know that they must also experience inner peace and joy for it to really matter. If you get paid well and have a career that others dream of but the work causes you to become unhappy, unfulfilled and maybe even miserable, you certainly won’t feel successful. And if you’re happy, fulfilled and delighted with your chosen career but you find that you aren’t able to afford the basic necessities of life, you certainly aren’t likely to feel successful either.
Success calls for happiness and inner peace, but the rub here is that accomplishment doesn’t. Happiness is what occurs when you take charge of your life and align your purpose, passion and principles with your decisions, behavior and career choices.
There are many different reasons so few people ever actually experience career success, and it includes conflating accomplishment with career success as well as following a career path that is defined, imposed or driven by other people such as parents, friends, spouses, etc. Another reason that so few people actually experience career success is that they never take the time to define what success actually means to them.
They neglect to assess what a life of joy, peace and happiness would even look like for themselves and certainly, then, never assess or define what career success would be either.
So instead of creating a successful career, many people just end up falling into one or finding a career that they believe will lead to happiness and then—after becoming highly disappointed—spend an inordinate amount of time complaining about their circumstances. People become disillusioned when the place they land professional and/or personally doesn’t bring the expected combinations of experiences (financial, professional and personal fulfillment) that they thought they would get.
If you want to experience career success—the kind that is connected to inner peace and happiness—you need to focus on aligning your purpose, passion and principles with your decisions, behaviors and career choices.
*Compiled from forbes.com