What does success really mean? Truth be told, it means something different to everyone. This article was shared with our HR team by our former EVP prior to my start with the company, and it really struck a cord with me. A lot of these aspects not only relate to my work, but also to life in general.
The pieces that I felt were most important were:
The people around me are the people I chose.
I've always enjoyed the people I work with--at every single company I've ever worked for. However, that doesn't mean the work environment has always been a healthy place for me. I value working somewhere that I feel appreciated, where I feel like I can truly add value. Sometimes you feel like you should stay where you are because there are a handful of positives. However, are the positives enough to nourish you? If the answer is no, change what you do or at least where you do it. It's hard feeling like your wings are clipped--find people who value you for who you are and what you bring to the table. As they say, remarkable employees want to work for remarkable bosses. Write that down.
Experience is irrelevant. Accomplishments are everything.
Obviously this depends on the industry--but as a general rule of thumb, I try to remind people of this pretty often. People will be in an interview with me and tell me how many years of experience they have without really telling me what they've accomplished. People are the worst about this on their resumes--share with HR/the hiring manager what you've accomplished at each place, not just what you did or how long you were there. If you brought your A-game, you need to put that on display (in a mindfully humble way, of course).
Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn't just happen to me.
Anytime I find myself in a less than perfect situation, I do whatever I can to own it. I put myself in the situation. Granted, certain things are out of my control, but I am able to learn from my mistakes and take full responsibility for making sure that things are done differently in the future.
The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland.
I try to do this throughout my life--at work and outside of work. I will host brunches and make egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free waffles, just so my friends with dietary needs can enjoy eating the same foods as everyone else instead of just having "a salad". I will do whatever I can at work to make people feel special. If I know someone has a love for climbing, I will get them a month-long pass rather than the ever-so-useful Amazon gift card. I will go the extra mile to sleuth and figure out what people want and cater to them without having them tell me what they want. Take the extra time to call up a former boss or co-worker to say hi and check in. Help wherever you can. Be different and make that extra effort to shine.