What Does Success Mean to You Essay

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Career development is an ongoing process in life. Every individual has a dream of doing that work which gives them maximum satisfaction and happiness. There is a point in life where all we care about is money as we assume that money can buy happiness. And as we grow older over the years, when we’ve accomplished the financial benchmark set for ourselves and that would be a time where we’ll realize that this isn’t a success. After all the achievement of set goals, we won’t still be happy and might not feel successful and that will be the time when we’ll realize that goal that we set earlier was of total waste. I could only understand this concept after I took the course Career Management where I got familiar with the real meaning of life’s success.

This report is about exploring career opportunities and putting them into action by acknowledging the intrinsic and extrinsic factors and all possible uncertainties in the near future. In addition to that, the process of selecting of career on the basis of personality will be shown.

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What is success to me?

Over the years, I’ve stayed away from my family because of my studies and work. I’ve achieved a lot of things but financial security or financial achievement was never enough. But that little joy of sharing those achievements with family and friends summed up everything. This course helped me to fill the gap between career success and life success. Being happy, satisfied, respected and the idol of someone would be a success for me. And success in work would mean doing what I love, getting appreciated for it, and spending money with my family.


What is my Goal for the Next Two Years?

In the next two years, I want to see myself as a professional working as a business analyst in a corporate company. So in order to achieve that I will be undergoing an internship, which will prepare me for corporate life in Australia.

What is my Life Goal?

Career exploration is considered a lifelong process that involves extrinsic factors like skills, job availability, money, power, position, etc., and intrinsic factors like respect, satisfaction, recognition, happiness, affection, etc. But it is advisable to think long term and take decisions accordingly considering all factors.

According to Robert, Reflected Best Self (RBS) exercise is a powerful tool that helps people to understand their talents. It focuses on the feedback which affects the mind of a person and thus stimulates its behavior accordingly. He says that every feedback may not have the same effects on different persons, some people respond better to praise than to criticism (Robert, 2005). This exercise then lets you write paragraphs about your strengths and weaknesses which are gathered from the feedback which helps to throw some light on your personality and makes you aware of what makes your performance efficient.

Importance of Feedback

Taking feedback on your work and accepting it honestly is a key to success. It is really important to know if it is helping to achieve our goals or not. Feedback can be from family, colleagues, and friends whom you trust for giving you honest feedback, and above all accepting it and working on it helps you move closer to your goal. For example, there was a point in life when I worked day and night without considering my health and sleep. I was so into that project that for 2 months I barely slept and ate. Then, when the day of my success came, I was unable to celebrate it because of my health problems. So, it all came down to nothing, I was being told by everyone that the way of doing it is incorrect but ignorance of feedback held me down.

Zig Zag Approach to Career

According to Chadnick, not everyone has a clear picture of what they want to do at the beginning of their working life (Chadnick,2015). For those people, the zig-zag approach can help them discover what they are more interested in by experiencing and changing some jobs. It is also okay to study in a particular field and do a job in a separate field. This can be done by doing contract or part-time jobs instead of full-time. It helps you understand different fields, explore your interests, build a network, and communication, diversify skills and knowledge and gain more experience.

My career plan is based on the Zig-Zag approach. I first took a part-time job in hospitality then I shifted to a contract-based retail sales assistant. By the time I graduate, I will be working as a business analyst. This is not my dream job instead I want to focus more on getting different experiences.

My main goal is to become an entrepreneur and stay in my home country. By the time I have my master’s degree, I will have experience in sales, as a business analyst, and all these skills will contribute to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Staying away from family has taught me its value and role in my life which changed my thoughts from initially planning to start life in Australia to become an entrepreneur in my home country. With this, I would be able to have a work-life balance because it will be the time to get married and start a new family. A person is successful when she inherits morals and values from the family. So, it is really important that I pass over all my values and ethics to the next generation.

This Zig Zag career will also help me decide which industry to choose and what I am really interested in. This approach is best suitable when a person needs to explore more options and open doors for different ideas. So, as I'm still not clear about which industry to choose, this is the best approach to go with.

According to Holman, career success is referred to as an emergent process that implies a career to be an evolving sequence of work experience over time. It identifies the right career by considering a person’s capabilities and preferences with job requirements and offerings.

  • What can I do?
  • What do I want?
  • What do they want?
  • And what will they provide?

Answering these four questions can provide a person with a brilliant fit.

I took the Big 5 personality traits test to get a clear understanding of my personality and noted down my ambitions, interests, hobbies, likes, dislikes, skills, and capability to suit the right fit. It is really necessary to realize and know what makes you feel successful the most, is its growth and development, appreciation, quality of work, bonuses, or financial benefits. These will further help in determining what other organization is ready to offer and thus finalizing the right one.

Career Shocks

Career shocks are distinct and impactful events that can either be expected or unexpected. It can be positive (e.g.: unexpected promotion) or negative (e.g.: being informed that you did not receive an expected promotion) (Heslin, 2016). Reaction to career shocks depends upon resilience and adaptability. A person’s capacity to respond to career change can be built through psychological and behavioral strategies (Heslin, 2016).

Some authors believe the theories of career development to be irrelevant due to uncertainties. Career planning can go waste if there are obstacles, work type changes, technological changes, and negative career events. Stages of loss start with shock and denial as explained by Elisabeth Kubler Ross where we start doubting our abilities and refuse to accept. For example: Due to technological advancement, most of the work has shifted from labor-intensive to capital-intensive resulting in the loss of jobs for workers. This is the time when people undergo stress, self-doubt, and anxiety but if you see the other side, this is also the time to know more about yourself and your personality and look at other opportunities. It is time to spot and seize the right opportunity.

Work-life Balance

There is a need to maintain a good work-life balance to spend quality time at home, with family and friends, relieve stress, to engage in physical activities. Being a working woman, it is extremely important to balance family time and work time. For ex: If a parent does not spend time with their child then they might lose control of their behavior and it may affect a child emotionally and mentally. They can fail in teaching those same ethics and values which can result in the development and nurturing of a child.

For some, career success will be family-oriented, and spending all their time with their parents and kids taking care of them. It will indeed be a success if their goals are being achieved in that field and are happy.


  1. Roberts, L. M., Spreitzer, G., Dutton, J., Quinn, R., Heaphy, E., & Barker, B. How to play to your strengths, (2005). Harvard Business Review, 83(1), 74-80.
  2. Chadnick, E.I.L.E.E.N. 2015. Why you may want to start zig-zagging with your career. 16th February. The Globe and Mail. [Online]. [8 August 2019]. Available from:
  3. Heslin, P.A., & Turban, D.B. Enabling career success as an emergent process, Organizational Dynamics, 1 July 2016, Vol.45(3), pp.155-164
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