We have a news flash for you: bosses rarely get to do the things they love. They have to make a lot of high-level decisions, and they probably enjoyed whatever they were doing right up until the point they got -promoted. Yeah, it’s really great when you get a chic title and your fatter paycheck reflects that, but what people rarely tell you is that the C-suite life isn’t for everyone.
When you think about what kind of success you want, the goal is to be real with yourself about what you want to spend your time doing, and sometimes that thing is not leading a big team or being in charge. That doesn’t make you a failure.
Being successful can mean that you genuinely value the time you spend at work. It doesn’t necessarily have to be measured by the number of digits in your salary. (That said, if making bank in order to pay off your debt or become financially independent will make you feel good, great!) If you feel truly content at work, then you’ll feel successful.
The key is knowing -yourself—which will lead to understanding whether or not being a top-tier career -person is for you. Remember: you’re not going to personally set feminism back if you don’t care about climbing to the top of your company. (TBH, if you don’t really want it, you’re probably not going to be the one to get there anyway.) Of course, there’s the middle ground where many of us land. You might neither be a CEO nor unemployed, but hopefully, you’ll be content with your job
and the amount of time it affords you to spend on your personal life. Which is the point exactly—you do you, and don’t let anyone tell you who that is.
Stop Throwing Career Shade
Silently judging your cousin who grinds away at the office every weekend? Secretly
jealous of your BFF who barely works and relies on her flush SO for support? These feelings are normal, but remember: “There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a career,” says Sara Bliss. Just because you have one level of ambition doesn’t mean everyone else has to view their life in the same way.
“Usually, when we’re feeling judgy of someone else, we’re not taking everything into account,” says Alison Green. Maybe that workaholic is paying down her house loans.
Or perhaps your pal is dealing with mental-health issues that hinder her work vibe. Whatever the case, focus on your own goals. You don’t want friends harshing on your path, right? So leave them to theirs.
Is Your Job Enough for You?
Are you ever embarrassed by your work performance?
Have you been consistently miserable in your position for more than two months?
Do you have what you thought would be your dream job but feel totally unfulfilled?
If you answered mostly Yes, you may be frustrated with your current gig or need a career refresh that aligns with your definition of success. Think about pivoting to a new industry. “Find a job that utilises your strengths and you’ll be more likely to be happy,” says Sara Bliss, author of Take The Leap.
If you answered mostly No, you seem to know what kind of work sitch fits your preferred lifestyle. Continue checking in with your priorities every few months. “Reflect on your choices to decide if you’re still -satisfied,” says Alison Green, author of Ask A Manager. —jessica goodman