Earlier this month I spoke on a panel at a conference hosted by my alma mater, FIU. The panel was part of their Career Ready Conference – an awesome event hosted every year that focuses on preparing college seniors and recent alumni for career success.
The whole point of the conference is to tackle the question – how to be successful – so I thought I’d write a post about it since I have a lot to say about all this.
Click here to watch the entire panel discussion.
What is success?
What does success mean anyway? That’s the thing – it can mean different things to different people and that’s 100% ok. I think some people end up really unhappy because they struggle with this one basic principle. To some of us, success means having a corner office at a fancy job. To others, success means working part-time at a no-stress job and still having enough money to feed our families. The freedom to do whatever the heck we want with our time -that’s also a common definition of success and you know what? Each of those are perfectly good answers.
Your definition of success can change
Just like we’re all allowed to define success for ourselves, that very definition can change over time. When I first started my career, success, to me, meant working super long hours, getting invited to attend board meetings and going to events where I could mingle with senior VPs. Later on, I made a huge career change and that’s because success started to mean something different for me. It meant making less money but being able to wake up and do something that I loved every day.
Today it means something different again. Today success means being able to stay home with my daughter while still having the freedom and flexibility to make a little extra money on the side. Thankfully, through my blog and my YouTube channel I’m able to do just that, but it’s been six years in the making.
Dream lifestyle > dream job
For six years I’ve hustled. I’ve worked a full time job and worked on building something profitable on the side. But you know what? It wasn’t an accident. It was totally intentional because for the past six years I’ve worked towards creating a dream lifestyle rather than focusing on landing my dream job.
I get a lot of emails from you guys and a lot of them ask – “how do I land my dream job?”
My response? I think that’s the wrong question. I think it’s a lot more important to think about the lifestyle that you want to live first, and then find a job that allows you to have it.
Do you want to have a short commute to work or are you okay with a long one? Do you want to stay home with your kids eventually or do you want to continue to work? Do you want to be able to come home before 6pm every day and go to the gym or are you okay with working until 10pm? Those are the kinds of questions you ought to ask yourself, because the jobs you eventually do land will definitely affect your lifestyle.
Be a nice human
Regardless of what your definition of success is, if I could only give you one piece of advice, it’d be this – be a nice human. Truth is, people want to work with people they like. People want to make business deals with people they like. You could be the smartest most genius person in your career field, but if you’re a jerk or a pain in the ass to work with, sooner or later you’re going to fail. Karma’s a bitch, ya know? So be humble, be kind, and you’ll get a whole lot farther.
So that’s it! Some of my thoughts on success since it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately! Again, if you’d like to hear the full panel discussion, head on over to the Facebook live recording and check it out! Some great advice from some super awesome alums.
And what do you guys think about all of this? What’s your definition of success? Any advice other than what I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments!
For more career advice, check out my book – Corporate Survival Guide For Your Twenties.
And if you’re looking to start a profitable side hustle, check out my step-by-step guide (with screenshots) on how to start a blog! I’ve been blogging for six years and I’d love to walk you through the process!
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