What is success? Is it becoming CEO of your company? Or being a boss who cultures team work and creativity?
It turns out that women define career success differently than men. According to author Sally Helgesen, polling shows that both men and women define success by salary and titles. But women also place high value on enjoying their jobs, having control over their time, and making a positive difference in the world.
In other words, women are looking deeper, to happiness as their baseline.
Perhaps that’s why many women define success as achieving work-life balance—being happy at work with enough time left over to be happy at home too.
In any case, every person defines success differently. Probably a better question is: What is success for you? What will make your life even more fulfilling and satisfying?
Here are some ways to find out.
1. Identify the tasks and interests that occupy your day and your daydreams. Make a list and then choose the top three categories—the life interests that mean the most to you. You might value family, career and personal health, for instance. Or you may write down “protecting the environment ”or“ volunteering at church.”
3. Write your goals for each area you have chosen. If you don’t create benchmarks for achievement, you won’t feel the satisfaction of success once you reach your target.
4. Combine your disparate success goals into one defining sentence. You might write, “For me, being successful means learning how to be happy and healthy—and working at a job that helps other women be healthy too.”
5. Outline the steps to reach your definition of success, and start putting them into action. When you achieve one of your goals, celebrate!
And don’t be afraid to change. What defined success for you one year may be different the next. You can grow, change and redefine what it means to be successful.