Definition of a Successful Career?

There is not a clear-cut definition of a ‘successful career.’ It is hard to put a dollar amount on the word success. To some, success might mean $5 million dollars in the bank. To others, success might simply mean the ability to pay household bills. Still others might not equate success to money at all.

Money aside, the term “successful career” revolves around happiness. According to an article posted on, “a successful career is loving what you do.”

Come to think of it, finding a dozen people who can truly say that they love their career is hard. Most people like their career or tolerate their career, but in general most people do not love their career.

A successful career is one that stirs up a certain level of excitement, passion and happiness in a person. A successful career is one that makes a person feel happy to go to work each day. A successful career is one that is enjoyable and interesting.

Every person’s exact definition of a successful career will differ. Without adding money or salary into the definition, every person is going to be inspired by a slightly different occupation because individual interests, morals and values vary from person to person. This diversity is what allows the world to function.

People That Hate Their Jobs

There are many people in the working world that hate their jobs. But, they stay at their jobs because they are afraid of the following:

• Not having career stability.

• Losing their level of income.

• Not being able to find a new job.

• Losing their company benefits.

While people that do not like their jobs are generating an income, they will never be able to say that they had a successful career because, “a successful career is loving what you do.”

People That Lost Their Jobs

Unfortunately, the unemployment rate in the United States recently hit a very high level. According to the website, the current unemployment rate is over eight percent. Unemployment is a scary prospect. It puts many people into dire financial situations.

Along with unemployment comes a feeling of helplessness and frustration. Many do not believe that they will ever find a career – let alone a “successful” career. But, being forced into an unemployed situation is actually the perfect opportunity to reinvent your career and choose one that will lead to your career success in the long run.

Many people who hate their jobs are willing to stay in jobs that they do not like because they are afraid of the alternative – – being unemployed. They would rather hate their job than have no job at all. However, those that are already unemployed have a choice on which direction to take their future careers.

Being unemployed means:

• You have the ability to focus on a new career.

• You can start fresh.

• You can follow your career dreams.

• You can become an entrepreneur.

• You can go back to school.

Getting on the Right Path

The path to a successful career involves having a vision, working towards your goals, and not letting other people tell you can’t do something. Your career path must be drawn by you, and there is no reason to believe that any other person will create the path for you.  Also read "Education for Job Advancement" if you're considering a new career that requires a degree or certificate.

The first step involves figuring out what type of career will ultimately make you feel successful. For example, if you are a “people” person and you love helping others better their lives, you will most likely feel successful in a people-related profession as opposed to a numbers-based profession. Once you have determined your professional passion you must remain resolute in your vision to achieve success in your chosen field.

The second step consists of creating career goals. In order to turn your career vision into reality, you must realize the small steps you must take to get there. Setting career goals will allow you to remain focused on where you want to be in a few years.

The third step is all about remaining determined. If you have a vision and you set goals, you must remain dedicated to reaching those goals no matter what life throws at you. You will undoubtedly face obstacles along the way but you must face those challenges and continue along your chosen path. Remaining disciplined will ensure a successful career – a career where you can honestly say you love what you do.

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Written by Melanie Fischer, Career & Job Expert who has been writing professionally for over 10 years.