5 signs your career is way more successful than you realize

This article was updated on October 5, 2021.

This year, it’s easy to feel like nothing is going right — especially in the career sphere. After all, there have been layoffs, delayed promotions, contracts that have fallen through, circumstances that have taken us off our desired path…

But there are many dimensions of “career success” we may not reflect on in our everyday lives. Here are five of those less considered signs that your career is going really, really well. You deserve to spend a few minutes reading them.

1. You have talents and have learned what some of them are.

If your career has been a pathway for you to learn about yourself, you are more successful than you realize. Self-discovery is a lifelong journey, and it’s the key to living your truest and most joyful life. A career that allows you to see where you shine brightest and then lets you work those strengths into your everyday life is allowing you to be your best and develop who you want to be — that’s a sign of success.

2. Your colleagues are willing to help you (and hear you out).

If you have colleagues that are willing to go out of their way to help you or support your ideas, you are much more successful than you realize. It takes a talented, valuable professional to build strong professional relationships, but it takes an even more special person to galvanize those around them into action. If you have the buy-in of the people around you, chances are you’re a successful professional — and, more importantly, the kind of person people want to be around. That’s true success.

3. You don’t stare at the clock all day.

If you have a job that you feel invested in — a job that helps the hours pass with meaning — that’s a sign of personal success. While many people are discovering themselves and working jobs that are saturated with boredom or hours spend staring at the clock, you are doing something that feels purposeful and fulfilling while you make the money you need to live. Finding, securing and dedicating yourself to that kind of job requires a level of self-knowledge and dedication to your internal self that’s worth celebrating.

4. You can afford to say ‘no.’

If you are in a position at work where you’re comfortable saying “no” to extra hours or projects, you are more successful than many. You’ve likely worked hard to create the kind of material and personal security you need to say “no” whenever you need to. You’ve dedicated time to determine where your boundaries are and what you can dedicate to each part of your life. That’s a success worth noting.

5. You have a vision and feel purposeful pursuing it.

If you have an idea who you are as a professional and a feeling of excitement in chasing your professional purpose, you are on a pathway to success. Heck, you’ve already made your first stop. You know what you want and you feel meaningful chasing it. This adds a feeling of fulfillment and happiness to every step — making the workdays feel shorter and the work feels lighter. It also allows you to go on into other parts of your life feeling energized. What a positive step you’ve taken for yourself!

A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards, and career advice.