What Does Success at Work Really Mean?

What defines a successful career? Why is it that, by conventional definitions, only the few people at the top of the ladder have successful careers, while the majority just survive and plenty fail? These questions have been been on my mind and in my heart for more than two decades, as I led the Human Resources department in several organizations. Let’s start with the first question. Let’s start with how we define a successful career. The usual understanding of success revolves around two basic assumptions. The first: the hero of the workplace is the person who climbs all the way to the top. The second: getting to the top – winning promotion after promotion – is therefore the only thing that matters. This mindset leads us to endlessly climb the corporate ladder, adhering to the cult of physical and mental endurance to finally attain the status of corporate hero.

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