Parents ruled over you. High school commanded your life. You thought: "No way college can order me around." But it did. Now, throughout much of your life, you have received strict guidelines and restrictions that have suppressed your will for self-determination. Pursuing your career, you now have control to define success in your life. But what is career success to you?
Happiness and money
"Time is money." "Money makes the world go 'round." "It's all about the money." These maxims ring loud in society, because without money one cannot do much. But people mistake the freedom money affords for happiness. Money can give you more potential to be happy, but it cannot grant you eternal happiness.
A study discovered that anything more than $75,000 in yearly income does not affect happiness, which is understandable. Let's say you have passed that threshold. What now? You have wanted a high-paying job since forever. You have it; what else do you need? That's the problem: After you achieve a goal and become indolent, happiness dissipates.
You'll say: "I want to earn one million." After you have earned that one million, you have nowhere to go, nothing to do, no purpose in life. That's the problem with always attaching happiness to money.
Millennial career success
More than 80 percent of baby boomers report high levels of stress because they must hold a job, raise kids and care for grandparents. Their work-life balance is hectic at best. Millennials should define success differently, and many millennials have already begun to do so.
First, they choose what they love to do. For many this is hard. They confuse a "passion" for the activity they truly enjoy. To find the job you love, you will have to sit, think and try out various jobs. Do not listen to others on following your passion, because many misunderstand what "passion" means.
After determining the job – which should be something you already had talent in but now want to cultivate talent in – you must become an expert at and in it, which means always learning. For example, if you want to become a writer, you should write daily, master and remember new words, and read. You ought to desire to evolve.
Next is work-life balance. With technology, many various schedules are viable. You can find a telecommuting job and work anytime, anywhere. If at a company you like, you should explain to your boss the benefits of telecommuting, so he can approve it for you.
Part of the work-life balance, disconnecting is key. Your boss awaking you nightly is not a balance, it is your work throwing your life out the window. You need your boss and company to know not to disturb your life. Or simply choose a schedule the perfectly fits your circadian rhythm. Or freelance, as many do today. Doing that, you can set your own start and end times.
You set goals, you complete them and your life is fulfilled. Define your career, define your career success. When you do, you will be happier that you control your life.