Six Questions to Ask Yourself if You're Questioning Your Success

A couple of years ago, I quit my stable corporate job to become a freelance recruiter. I had tons of great reasons for making this move, but ultimately, I wanted more flexibility and less stress. After a few months, I’d scored some solid clients and was this close to not having to pull money out of savings to pay the bills. Overall, I was feeling pretty good.

One of the things I love most about this industry—whether as a freelancer or an in-house employee—is that I get to hang out on sites like LinkedIn all day long. The downside of that, at first, was being constantly bombarded with updates about my connections’ fancy new job titles or big promotions.

It seemed like all my friends were getting substantial raises, taking incredible trips to foreign countries on the company dime, or scoring major career wins. I was really happy for my friends, but I couldn’t help feeling a little left behind. I even started to question whether I’d made the right choice. Maybe I should’ve stayed the course and kept climbing that corporate ladder.

When I finally opened up to a fellow freelancer about my struggles, she reminded me that the very reason I’d gone out on my own was because I wanted to step away from all the stress, chaos, and pressure that’s intimately intertwined with those promotions and raises I was envying. I’d forgotten everything that went into the career milestones everyone around me was achieving.

The thing is, success is totally subjective. My version of it revolves around being able to go to a yoga class at 10 AM or working from a park bench on a sunny day. The flexibility that comes with this career path is so important to me that it’s worth the uncertain journey.

I know tons of accomplished people who absolutely love the work that they do and are happy to put in long hours at the office, travel for weeks on end, or wake up extra early to squeeze in a jog before an 8 AM call. Being able to juggle a robust schedule while doing fulfilling work is someone else’s version of success. It’s different for every one of us.

With all of this in mind, if you’re feeling a little down about where you are or asking what it means to be successful I have a few questions for you. And some advice, too. Hop over to The Muse to read on!


Jaclyn WestlakeComment