“Ambition is out” declared Time Magazine in 2022, reflecting on the post-Covid work trends that saw 20% of US respondents to a Gallup survey describe themselves as “actively disengaged” from work.
One year on, it’s time to take another look at the shift we’re living through, and the way we’re collectively and individually reimagining our career success.
In this article, we will explore the factors that have contributed to our changing perception of success,, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our growing awareness of neurodiversity, and the transformative influence of AI on career trajectories.
Why is our definition of success changing?
In the evolving landscape of the modern workplace, our understanding of success has undergone a profound transformation. Gone are the days when success was measured solely by corner offices and hefty paychecks. These days, we hear leaders talking about wider impact, a sense of fulfilment, and the ability to balance their professional achievements with their personal lives in a more holistic version of “success”.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that our individual measures of success have shifted given that our perception of business success has also altered. More and more companies consider their impact beyond the “bottom line” – taking into account their social and environmental contribution as well as their financial one.
Today, working with leaders in global organisations both large and small, we find ourselves at the forefront of this transformation, helping individuals and organisations adapt to the shifting paradigms of success.
COVID-19: A Catalyst for Change
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the world in unprecedented ways, forcing businesses and individuals to confront new challenges. In confusing and frightening times, many people reported a shift in their understanding of what really mattered – like quality time spent with loved ones.
And the difference between employers who showed genuine care for their employees vs. those who seemed to take an uncaring or even adversarial approach was stark. The pandemic forced us to reevaluate the very definition of success at work, and for many, the sacrifices they’d made to increase profits at the expense of their wellbeing no longer seemed worth it.
As remote work became the norm, another significant shift brought about by the pandemic was the realization that success didn’t need to be tied to physical presence in the office. Productivity is no longer measured by hours clocked at a desk but by results achieved. Remote work highlighted the importance of adaptability, resilience, and self-motivation, rather than mere presence.
Leadership coaching during this time has become essential to guide individuals and organiszations through the transition. We’ve seen leaders emerge who prioritize empathy, flexibility, and the mental well-being of their teams. This shift in leadership values reflects the broader change in our understanding of success, which now includes the ability to lead with compassion and adaptability.
Embracing Neurodiversity: A New Perspective on Success
Another critical aspect of the changing definition of success is our growing awareness of neurodiversity. As our workplaces become more inclusive, we become aware that success does not adhere to a one-size-fits-all model. Neurodiversity acknowledges that neurological differences, such as autism and ADHD, can bring unique perspectives and talents to the workplace.
Successful organisations now understand that diversity extends beyond gender, race, and age, encompassing neurodiversity as well. They recognise that accommodating neurodivergent individuals not only promotes inclusivity but also fosters innovation and creativity. Success, therefore, includes creating an environment where every individual can thrive, regardless of their neurology.
Leadership coaching plays a crucial role in helping leaders navigate this shift by promoting inclusive leadership and providing strategies to support neurodivergent team members. It is no longer enough to measure success solely by the bottom line; organisations are now also evaluated on their commitment to diversity and inclusion.
AI’s Impact on Career Trajectories: Navigating the New Normal
The rise of artificial intelligence has brought about significant changes in the workplace, altering the career trajectories of many. A fixed definition of “success” is hard to maintain when roles, goals and entire industries find themselves upended completely by technological advancements. While some fear that AI will replace human jobs, it has also created new opportunities and avenues for success – if we are able to flex and adapt our ideas to include them. Success in the age of AI is not about competing with machines, but collaborating with them.
Like the technological leaps before it, AI has transformed industries, creating new career paths and opportunities. While some paths are closed off, new ones emerge. Success is no longer limited to climbing a traditional, static corporate ladder; it now involves navigating a dynamic and ever-changing landscape.
Defining Your Own Career Success
In this evolving landscape, one thing remains clear: success at work is a deeply personal and individualiszed concept. As a leadership coaching company, we encourage individuals to define their own path to success. Here are some steps to help you do just that:
- Reflect on Your Values: Consider what truly matters to you. Is it work-life balance, personal growth, making a positive impact, or financial stability? Identifying your core values is the first step in shaping your definition of success.
- Set Meaningful Goals: Success is not a one-time achievement; it’s a journey. Set clear, achievable goals that align with your values. These goals can encompass career milestones, personal development, or contributions to your community.
- Embrace Adaptability: The modern workplace is dynamic, and success often requires adaptability. Be open to change, continuous learning, and seizing new opportunities that come your way.
- Seek Support and Guidance: Consider seeking the guidance of a leadership coach who can help you navigate the complexities of the modern workplace. A coach can provide valuable insights, strategies, and accountability to help you achieve your unique vision of success.
- Practice Self-Compassion: Remember that success is not always linear, and setbacks are a natural part of the journey. Be kind to yourself and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small.
So… where are we heading?
The definition of success at work has evolved significantly in recent years, influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, our growing awareness of neurodiversity, and the transformative impact of AI. At Global Warriors, we recognize that success is now a multifaceted concept that goes beyond traditional measures.
We invite you to define your own path to success, one that aligns with your values, goals, and aspirations. Embrace the changing landscape of the modern workplace and remember that success is a journey of personal growth and fulfillment. Whether you’re a leader guiding a team through these changes or an individual navigating your career, the key to success lies in adaptability, resilience, and the pursuit of your own unique vision.
To find out more about how we could contribute to your success, get in touch here – we’d love to hear from you!