Is it time we redefined how we measure career success?

Brooke Cashman

Is It Time We Redefined How We Measure Career Success

What does success mean to you? More time with family or for your hobbies? Living with less debt and less stress? Or perhaps it’s having the flexibility for two beach walks a day…. whatever it means to you be sure to hold onto it going into this “new norm”.

As recruiters, we have conversations daily with candidates to find out what are the most important factors for them when looking for their next role and how they measure career success based on those. 

In the past, the top two answers were a good job title and a salary to match, but over the past 12-months we’re seeing a clear shift from an often-outdated model of measuring success by job title and salary, and we’re excited for what the future holds as candidates change their thinking and clients change their recruitment strategies to ensure they’re retaining and attracting great marketing talent. 

What has caused the shift in how we’re measuring success?

The marketing and advertising industry was hugely affected by Covid over the past 12-months and to keep businesses running employers needed to make changes quickly which often included how and where their staff worked.

And it is these changes that we believe have caused the shift.

With an increase in redundancies, roles being cut back to part-time and strict recruitment freezes, the instability in the job market allowed some to step back and re-evaluate what is important to them and how they measure success in their career now and in the future. 

With most businesses having now returned to their offices and back to some sort of ‘new norm’ with employees either in the office full time, continuing to work from home or a mix of both, employers are rethinking how they now run their business going forward to meet the change in expectations of candidates. 

Is there a better (healthier) way to measure success?


Change your focus to finding more balance in your next role, whether it be by placing more importance on both mental and physical health, finding meaningful work instead of it being about the salary and the title, or moving away from glorifying ‘the hustle’ to instead having healthy boundaries to allow more free time to do activities you enjoy and have more time to spend with family and friends. 

It could mean you work two part-time roles rather than just one “standard” full-time job. Really challenge yourself to define what a successful career would look like now, as often what you wanted five years ago is not what matters most to you now.

Where to start when defining your own measurements of career success

One important thing to note is that if measuring success based on your job title and salary works for you then there is no reason to change it – the most important thing about measuring success is it’s personal, and if that is what is most significant to you, then go with it! 

But if you’re wanting to move away from that way of thinking, or if you’re finding it’s not healthy or beneficial for you anymore, here are some helpful ways to make a change in how you measure success in your career:

  1. Discover and define your core values and use these to choose your metrics of success.

What motivates you? What does success look like to you?  

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

This only sets you up for failure, what is important to you may not matter to others. 

  1. Don’t be afraid to change how you measure success.

It’s not a one size fits all, or a lifetime commitment, it’s a fluid measurement that you can adjust as you personally change.

  1. Think about ways you could share your success.

It doesn’t have to be sharing wealth, it could be knowledge, wisdom, time or goodwill.

  1. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

Confucius was on to something here. In theory, this is great, but in practice, how many of us can truly achieve this? Be realistic – start by questioning if your job aligns with your values, if you want growth can it give you that? If you need work/life balance, is that achievable? 

Take some time to work out your own measurements of success, write them down, and check in with them often.

Whether that be to help you when you’re looking for work, to inform conversations with our talent consultants if we’re helping you find that next job, or if it’s you’re wanting to do it for measuring success in your personal life, the first step to achieving success is defining exactly what it means to you.

Are you redefining your own measurement of success and looking for a new agency or client-side marketing role to fit in with your new goals? Check out our jobs page to see our available roles. See something you like? Apply online today!