Measuring Success: 4 Career Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
Are you a success? Or not? You've been working hard every day since you first entered real adulthood, doing your best to stay in motion and grab your dreams before they pass you by. Every morning you get up as early as you can, accomplish as much as you can, endure the hardships and indignities that stand between you and your goals, and try to find smart, strategic ways to overcome the obstacles that are part of your industry. But are you doing enough? Here are four questions that can settle an age-old mystery once and for all: Is your career successful?
1. Are you making enough money?
According to the Census Bureau, the median household income in the U.S. is about 51,900 dollars per year. This includes every geographic area, and it includes every experience level from new graduates to senior workers approaching retirement. Half the people in the country make more than this amount and half make less. You can use this as a benchmark, and you can visit popular salary websites like Glassdoor.com to complete a search based on your specific job title and industry.
2. Do you like what you're doing on a daily basis?
Psychologists have a word they use to describe the form happiness that comes from total immersion in an enjoyable task: "flow". When we enter this state, the rest of the world fades away and we feel so dialed in to the work at hand that ambient anxieties, other people in the room, distractions, and even hunger and physical pain can seem to disappear. This is what happens to people who forget to eat lunch. Have you ever had this feeling at work? Have you come close? If you feel genuine flow at least once or twice every 30 days, you're on track.
3. Are you proud of what you do? (Or at least, not embarrassed?)
If you have trouble telling strangers what you do or sharing the name of your employer, that's a problem. If you have occasional pangs of conscience that suggest that what you're doing isn't right, that's a problem too. If you find yourself thinking or saying defensive things like "What can I do? A job is a job, and I'm just doing what I'm told", that's no good. But if you know your work is honest, necessary, and not hurting anyone, then you can check this off the list. Success.
4. Do you know where you're going?
You should know enough about the road ahead to satisfy your own need for security and/or ambition. If you don't mind risk and adventure, it's okay to have no idea what you'll be doing a month from now. And if you need a solid 30-year plan to feel secure and safe, that's okay too. But the stability and/or the forward motion your job provides should align with your needs and your personality. If you're living in either terror or boredom every single day, it's time for a change.
What You Do Is What You Are. If you enjoy your daily tasks, your salary is worth the value of your time, you're proud of your work and your employer, and you like what you see when you gaze into the future, then congratulations! You're not just building a successful career; you're already there. If you answered no to most of these questions, then it's time to make some adjustments. Visit MyPerfectResume and start taking the first steps today.