Whether you're contracted to a Client or manacled to The Man, how do you measure the merits of success?
Is it the number on your paycheck? The size of your team? The job title on your contract? You may be tempted to impress with a grandiose definition of success, but when life gets down to the nitty gritty of what makes yours a happy one, your job title isn’t vital. Here’s why it doesn’t matter, and 6 things that do when it comes to the fundamentals of work, life and happiness.
1. You’ve made an impact
We all have a voice, and when yours is heard loud and clear—whether it’s within your industry as a whole, your office or simply your team— making a difference can make a big difference in your working life. If you feel like you’ve made no impact, you may never feel like you’ve achieved much success. So think instead of the savings you've earned a company, revenues you've generated and the processes and people you've affected. You should feel perfectly safe to properly preen when internal fellow co-workers or hire ups as well as external professionals and businesses are speaking highly of you in their respective networks.
2. You’re challenged
If you feel like you’re doing nothing but pencil pushing all day-- every day, and fantasize about the final five o’clock hour or end date as soon as you first sit down, chances are… you’re bored. Out of your mind. And if you’re not feeling challenged, you could be losing your motivation and inspiration for work and play. Broker T. Washington once said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” If we stop pushing ourselves, how can we ever grow? He was a wise man.
3. You create
The act of creating, in general, is a beautiful thing. And you don't need to necessairly work within a creative field to be an artist. Perhaps you're a Picasso of coding, you developed a materpiece of a spreadsheet that's now a department template or you're magic with money and made revenue appear; whatever it is, you made it happen.If you’ve created something new, regardless of whether it’s a product, an idea or a new and better way for getting things done, this is a success. And it should feel that way.
4. You’ve formed great relationships
When you're in the posession of a portfolio that spans a list of happy people, it should prove to yourself that you've provided a great service. Cultiviating and keeping relationships isn't an easy feat in any professional capacity; especially in the contract workforce. So if you're worth more than a name and face to your Clients, customers and co-workers, it should prove your value to yourself.
5. You leave the office with a smile
When you wake up and can honestly say that you love what you do, you’re a lot ‘richer’ than someone with a bigger paycheck or fancier title. And if you can smile at the end of the workday, you’re one of the lucky ones.
You could have a great paying job with an impressive title – but if you don’t enjoy your day-to-day life due to the stress – it could be argued that you’re not successful at all. What you do to earn a living should not only fill your bank account, it should also fulfill your life in other ways that can’t be defined by monetary compensation or monogrammed business cards.