Connect with us


Wunmi Adelusi: How Do You Measure Career Success?

Success is not just about what you achieve; it’s about who you become along the way.

Avatar photo



“Think impact rather than positions and titles” were the words of my great mentor to me.

In today’s fast-paced world, we are often driven by the need to succeed, which is not a bad thing. The drive for success, however, is quickly measured by certain standards – such as certifications, positions, titles, awards, recognition and so on (I am yet to know who set those standards, if you do find him or her, do let me know). Undoubtedly, these yardsticks could be a representation of the countless hours of hard work we put in to achieve our career goals.

Success in the workplace is a multifaceted concept that encompasses more than just achieving your goals or earning awards. As someone who has received recognition in my career – like being named one of the top 100 career women in Nigeria, and winning the Positive Role Model Award – I understand the importance of looking beyond these external markers of success. In times when I am not receiving an award or getting a certification, I have had to ask myself whether I still consider myself successful. And it’s a yes from me. More recently, I’ve been asking myself how I can prepare myself for greater relevance.

Success, in any career, is multifaceted, ever-evolving and never really a destination as often conceived. Success looks like finding fulfilment and satisfaction in what you do. It is best to identify what success means to you as an individual. For me, one of my definitions of success is growth. Growth in the navigation of the professional landscape, building relationships with colleagues and relevant global networks and adapting to changing circumstances. While accomplishments are essential, they are just one piece of the puzzle – milestones that we reach on the way to success.

Career success is not a linear path, and there is no one-size-fits-all definition. Success in the workplace is a combination of various factors, which includes your personal growth as an individual. How then, can one become more driven for success rather than for accomplishment?

Think Impact

I observed that from the biographies of many people I consider successful, their famous titles and positions came when they pursued a life of impact, seeking to make a positive change. Dr Ola Brown, the founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, is an example. Her passion for improving access to healthcare in Africa has saved lives and earned her several global recognitions in the process, including the conferment of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) rank. When you are able to recognize the kind of impact you want to make, it will guide the kind of projects you want to be part of, the associations you want to keep and your resilience.

Be growth driven

The growth mindset is recognizing that it is you versus you, and the end game is to always be a better version of yourself. Sometimes growth isn’t about getting a higher paycheck or position, sometimes growth looks like adapting to change or stepping out of one’s comfort zone. Having a growth mindset helps you recognize that there is more and propels you to step out of your comfort zone and embrace new challenges. Think success, think growth.

Continuous Learning

According to research, successful people attribute their achievements to continuous learning. This may not be surprising in a world that is constantly evolving and rapidly changing. But here’s the thing, learning isn’t just about getting a degree or certification, as many think. Learning is a mindset, a way of acquiring new values/skills, and a willingness to embrace new ideas and perspectives. In fact, the most successful people understand that there is always more to learn, no matter how many accolades they may have to their name, recognising that accomplishments are milestones in a lifelong journey of growth and development. It is even more important not to lose the yearning to learn when we are faced with challenges and setbacks, sometimes, the most significant successes come from there. So, are you ready to unlock your full potential by making continuous learning a lifelong pursuit?

Understanding that career success is multifaceted is essential. Success is not just about what you achieve; it’s about who you become along the way.


Feature Image by Jopwell for Pexels

Wunmi is an experienced finance specialist with outstanding academic and professional achievements. She is a mom of two boys. Currently, she works in the Financial Services Industry. Spurred by the desire to inspire young professionals, she started an online community of millennial employees where she shares relevant information aimed at building, empowering, inspiring, supporting and promoting employees to thrive in their careers.

Star Features