How do we define success? Is it possible we are driven by the media definition of success to be all about money, fame and ultimately obscene fortune?
A recent study reflected that three out four employees are satisfied to remain in their current positions (jobs) with no desire to move up in the organization. This data from a 2011 survey by OfficeTeam, a Menlo Park, CA. staffing service.
Does this mean these employees are not successful or do not feel successful? For a few years my own two minute introduction included words around achieving success and bringing a person to success. The wording is now different for me and the wording around success is not there. It is not that success cannot be achieved by working with me that caused me to make these changes. It is the word success and the fact that different people view what success means to them in a variety of ways. The word success therefore is not a concrete enough of a word to utilize in a brief introduction of what services you provide.
Let’s turn to career success. A definition from years ago would include, “a rapid rise through the organization”, when discussing an employee being successful at a company job. It is clear from the data from the survey that this may no longer be the case. Family time and leisure time are most often mentioned as the reasons people want flexibility in their jobs. Other reasons why people may choose not to seek promotion and job change are – a fear of failure at the next level, the possible need to relocate, learning how to work with a new boss, the loss of the current routine and flexibility, the need to learn new skills and the need to manage people. One of these reasons or a combination of these may be the reason an employee is quite satisfied to remain in their current role.
A word of caution is to clearly discuss how you feel about your current position and aspirations with your Manager or people you work for. It is highly possible they thought you would be a candidate for a promotion without even considering you might not be interested in being promoted. Through these open dialogues you might jointly create other methods to improve your contributions and engagement, without the aspects of a formal promotion which you do not desire.
Each of us has our own definition of success. Unfortunately the divorce rate remains in excess of fifty percent. The news media continues to trot out seventy and eight year old Multi-millionaires with their twenty something shapely blonde brides. Consider your own definition of success and be guided accordingly.
Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.