What is the key to developing and maintaining a successful career? The definition of success is individually defined and there are many successes along one's life journey. So, how do you define your success? Only you can answer this. Do not let the pressures of "competing with your neighbors" impact how you define yourself.

When you are in transition - either between jobs or reinventing yourself after taking some time off, this a time when you can assess your skills, review your style and determine your ability to influence others. Everyone will offer you their advice on how to find the next opportunity. They will share - "how to" tips/techniques with you. The tips you choose to use, will depend on your personal style and what feels comfortable. There are times when stepping out of your comfort zone is important for growth.

As we have evolved in our careers to where we are today, we developed based on guidance given by our parents, professors, mentors, peers, and career centers using the tips and techniques we learned in school or on the job. Eventually, our accumulated experience became our routines or habits and this created our personal style. This style is formed from what is natural and comfortable to us. It is what our reputation is based on. We tend carry this style of behavior with us as we continue to mature. Only when our routines no longer work for us, do we possible re-examine ourselves and consider exploring alternative options. Sometimes, we get stuck along our career journey, repeating the same pattern over and over, only to realize after repetitive failures that our style may not be effective in the evolving environments we live in. A classic example would be the individual who takes the same role in numerous companies and is not promoted but rather laid off every few years. This chronic job seeker can often benefit from career coaching to help them find new habits and ways to apply their skills or focus on developing new skills.

Let's step back and look at what your goals and plans were coming out of school. What were your wishes and dreams you had for your future? Are you still on the path towards achieving these goals or have you detoured? If you detoured, are you on a new path that allows you to achieve other satisfying successes? Think about when you are in a room and communicating with others. Are people caught up in your story? What is it about your story that relates to the listener? If you are getting an unenthusiastic response, think through why. When you are networking or interviewing (or for that matter, just socializing) - what attracts you to certain types of people? How can you get the response that you are looking for?

"You can never really live anyone else's life, not even your child's. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you've become yourself." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

What contribution do you want to leave behind? Are you part of the larger good or are you in it for yourself? Thinking through what success means to you and to the world around you. This will best reflect the value you bring to this world. What better message can we share with our friends, family, neighbors than that we care about them and are working towards a larger good?

"He who influences the thought of his times influences the times that follow." ~ Elbert Hubbar

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season as you "love your career, live your talent and treasure your life's successes!"

This column provides thought provoking strategies for getting unstuck along your career journey. A certified Executive and Career Coach can be instrumental in guiding you in your efforts to gain a new perspective. I invite you to contact me @ Lisa@ChenofskySinger.com