We all know that to succeed, you need to know your values and your goals, but we also know that success can mean something different for everyone. Your success is a personal endeavor that depends on motivation, focus and determination. Unfortunately, it can be difficult if you are a parent where there are many unexpected sicknesses, injuries, or other things that arise. Although it may look different being a parent, your career success should be on your own terms. Below are some points to help you get there.
1. Identify Your Values.
Let’s talk about identifying your values and what is important to you. Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors, and actions. Your values are the foundation for creating a life that brings you happiness and when YOU are happy, others around you are happy, too! Start with making a list of what is most important to you in your daily life. There is no fixed answer, or a one size fits all. These should include personal things like getting a daily workout, attending your children’s sporting events, being mindful of work-life balance, creating opportunities for growth and advancement, etc. Besides personal values, you should also include career or business values like creating a culture at work, being adaptable, empathetic, or focused. Did you know that your personal and business values can actually be driving your profits?
2. Define short and long-term goals.
Once you have identified those values, you need to set short and long-term goals with those values in mind. This will help you gain clarity as to what you are trying to achieve. Something to take into consideration is your family’s current life stage as each life stage brings its own opportunities and challenges. Begin by brainstorming what goals you need to achieve that will put you in the direction of your career success. Strong leaders mark their success by the number of people they inspire or empower, therefore leaders’ goals usually include developing well-roundedness, patience (we learn enough of this at home, right?) practicing active listening, developing responsibility and self-discipline, etc.
As a business leader, your goals generally fall into four categories which include growth, profit, services, and your mission. This could include focusing on your employees, gaining a deeper understanding of your customers, and planning for your financial future. It is important that these goals are very clear and specific. Once goals are implemented, then you will want to evaluate their alignment with your daily routine and adjust accordingly.
3. Finding work and business that aligns with your goals.
Once you understand your values, you can choose the work that aligns with your goals. When developing leads for new business, be mindful that when your company’s values are aligned with your customers’ values, you are much more likely to achieve deeper loyalty, which ultimately results in increased profits! Remember that the culture of your business is the driving force to success whether with your employees, or your customers. (We will take a deeper dive into culture at another time!) If you are seeking new work, communicate your standards and find an employer whose values align with your own so that when unexpected scenarios arise (as they always do with kids), there is room for some understanding.
To achieve career success, remember it takes real work and courage. This is not for the faint-hearted and you will need to sit with discomfort while going through the process.
Personally, my definition of career success includes working for a company whose culture aligns with my personal values. This allows me to be the person I want to be by having the freedom to create my own path all while being present for my family. This alignment took time and going through this process annually is what helps me be accountable.
As a parent, it can seem like your life is being held hostage by your children, but that does not mean you have to give up on your dreams and goals. Make work, work for you, and achieve career success on your terms.
So tell me, what does career success mean to you?