Words We Heard: ‘A successful career requires managing the person in the mirror.'

When I hear the word career, I feel slightly uneasy. That might just be due to the fact that I am a college student and a career seems very distant. In reality, the start of my career is very close and I have to actually start figuring out what success means to me and how I’m going to get there. 

We hear so many people talk about ways to succeed and ways to get ahead in your job. It has been nailed into my brain that success is only achieved once you’ve got the best title next to your name and the best pay you could imagine. But often times we forget that succeeding is about more than just those things. There isn’t a roadmap on how exactly to achieve “success,” because we all have different definitions. Maybe for you, success is about hearing the words “well done!” from your boss. Maybe it’s launching your dream business and getting to share your passion with the world. Maybe, it’s neither. No matter what success means to you, we all have different routes to get there. It’s not always easy and it’s not always fun. But one thing is certain: If you focus on the things that truly matter to you, success will be much closer for you.

This week, I challenge you to take a step back and think about what success means to you and how you’re going to get there. Maybe you’ve already achieved what you believe is success. If that’s the case, how’d you get so lucky?


  • “Everything is not about you, so don't take it personally! Secondly, take a vacation and the time off to see friends and family. No job is more important than the people that matter to you most.” –Zerlina Maxwell, director of progressive programing for SiriusXM, in an interview with Girlboss
  • “Take the tough roles that others don’t necessarily gravitate towards – it shows you’re not afraid of taking risks…I’ve found that if you’re a hard worker, a strong performer, and have a good attitude and personality, everything else doesn’t matter that much.” –Farah Ahmed, Harvard graduate, in an interview with Refinery29
  • “Success looks like different things to different people…Faith to me doesn’t mean I go to bed and have faith that everything is going to be okay. You get up, you work hard, you network, you do what you need to do, but you’ve got to have faith that things are going to work out.” – Priya Dhingra Klocek, president and CEO of Consultant On The Go, in an interview with Women of Cincy
  • ”You always need to find a way through. If you can’t get through the wall, think: Can you go over it? Can you go under it?” Monica Yunus, co-founder of Sing for Hope, in an article in Conscious Magazine
  • “If you focus on title, you might miss opportunities along the way.” –Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president of customer experience at JetBlue, in an interview with Marie Claire
  • “A successful career requires managing the person in the mirror – overcoming your tendencies and habits that can undermine efforts to find happiness at work.” –Kevin Granville on “How to Manage Your Career” for The New York Times