• Tue, Dec 6 2011

Poll: How Do You Define Success?

I have to admit, I tend to be a bit of a traditionalist. When I picture professional success, I think of a corner office, a six-figure salary and a bunch of fun corporate perks. Maybe that idea of the high-flying business professional is just too ingrained in my psyche, but I’ve always measured success in terms of career achievement. And when I had a daughter, I chose to step back and take a different route. My priorities shifted and I came to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be “successful” but I would be happy.

Well over at ForbesWoman, guest-contributor Alexis Sclamberg argues that success can come in multiple shapes and sizes. Sclamberg graduated law school with a great GPA, wonderful career prospects and a determination to make her own kind of success. She isn’t angling for an office with a view. She wants a career that allows her to focus on her family and create her own schedule. She wants to use her degree, but on her terms. She makes a very compelling case for personal definitions of ambition and success, which I guess shows that her law degree isn’t going to waste.

In this young woman’s life, ambition means “cultivating my relationship with my husband so we can still laugh at each other’s jokes while wearing matching track suits when we’re 75, raising healthy and happy children, and finding a career that actually means something to me. The kind that gets me out of bed in the morning with a smile and a head full of new ideas.”

For me, ambition means performing to the best of my abilities in every area of my life. My redefined goals focus a lot less on money and a lot more on a happy, healthy piece of mind. To do that, I need to be an involved mother and a hard-working professional. Both are a part of my life.

So I’m wondering, Grindstone readers, what does success mean for you? It is all career-driven, or is there some room for work life balance?

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

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