Culture and organizations are built to celebrate status and achievement.
But at the end of it all, “the trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat” as Lily Tomlin once said.
Build a career knowing at the end of it, the marker of success is not your job title, the size of the teams you’ve managed, or the money in your bank account.
Success, to me, is the answer to this question:
Do I like who I’ve become?
I hadn’t realized I’d made this observation about my own career until I was in the midst of a conversation with an articulate, intelligent woman who was looking for advice as she begins what promises to be an amazing career.
She reflected back to me what I had just shared.
And, I realized, that all of my decisions — how to spend my time, how I show up at work, my aspirations — hinge on that one thing. Will these choices lead me closer to or further away from who I want to be decades from now?
It’s made me pay attention to the leaders who influence me; to the values that are the root of my being; to the choice to churn out work or to listen when a colleague needs a sounding board.
One day we’ll all realize that the little things actually were the big things. Your daily choices may seem small or short-term, but each one is shaping your future self.
Will you like who you’ve become?
Photo credit: Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash