Defining Career Success (When You Don’t Want It All)

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It’s okay to not want “it all”. And when it comes to defining career success, it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all situation. In this Instagram and social media age, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the weight of everyone else’s success. In career, especially, it can seem like you’re falling behind if you don’t want it all. But if you don’t necessarily want the corner office, that’s okay. If you don’t see yourself working your way to the top, that’s okay. Defining success is personal.

Here are some guidelines for defining career success on your own terms.

Passion Isn’t for Everyone

“Follow your passion.” “Do what you love.” “Find your purpose.” You’ve probably heard these catchphrases thrown around frequently, especially when you’re talking about what you want in terms of career. All of these things are true, of course—you should follow your passions, you should do what you love, you should try to find your purpose. All of these things, however, do not need to be tied into your job, your career. You can have a job, a 9-to-5, and it can be enough to pay your bills, to empower you to do all of those things outside of work. It’s okay if your passion isn’t what you do every day for your job.

What Matters to You?

Think about what matters to you. Is it that you’re home every day when your kids get home from school? Is it that you want to be helping people, in whatever capacity you can? Or do you just want a job that gives you a paycheck, benefits, and is a non-toxic work environment?

What matters to you, in your career? Think about your goals, too. Do you want to manage a team one day? Do you want to move up? Are there lateral moves you can make that will help grow your skillset? Think about short term (and long term) goals that you can create for yourself in your career. Then, consider how those fit into your life as a whole. Yes, jobs matter. Careers matter. You spend a third of your life at work. So, you don’t want to waste the time you spend there—just try not to place unnecessary pressure on yourself to create a career that ties together all your passions and purpose. Don’t feel like you’re not doing well if you can’t say you’re in your “dream job.” If you’re happy with what you’re doing, that’s important.

Career Success, The Bottom Line

Here’s the bottom line—Does your job empower you to do things you want to do? Career success, for you, is defined on your own terms. Your career should help you to grow, help to empower you to do what you’re passionate about, what you love. That might mean that you find success in your career because it pays for your paint supplies. Or for your photography equipment. Maybe you get to travel to unique locations. Or it takes care of your children and puts food on the table. Create your own metrics of success for your career, free of comparison to others. In conclusion, it’s not going to be the same for everyone, it’s supposed to be personal.


If you need help in taking the next step in your career or finding Napa County job listings and Napa County employment opportunities, Star Staffing is the top employment agency in Napa providing flexible staffing solutions, including temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire placements in Napa, Fairfield, Sacramento, Hayward, and Lodi. For more details, contact us at 707-265-9911.

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With over 20 years in the staffing industry, Star Staffing has thrived as a top temporary staffing agency recognized multiple years by Forbes for our excellent service. Star Staffing supports multiple industries including food and wine, events and hospitality, warehouse and distribution, and more. As the economy heals, we look forward to maintaining our promise: We are here when you need us.

Star Staffing is a full-service workforce solutions firm. We focus on making the best match between employee and employer. With offices throughout Northern California including Sacramento, Fairfield, Napa, Petaluma, and Santa Rosa, Star Staffing is just a phone call or click away.


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