What Is Career Success?
First as a teacher and then promoted as a headmaster at a primary school (principal of an elementary school in some countries). He has only served 2 schools, one was Saint Andrew’s in Muar, Malaysia and another at Monfort Primary School, Batu Pahat, Malaysia.
In the context of someone who served as a civil servant for more than 30 years with one employer – the government and only served in 2 schools - what is career success? Did Pa achieve career success? In our (his family) opinion he did.
We never quite got to asking him if he considered himself achieving career success. We wonder what is career success to him?
This article is not intended to provide any answers for you. It merely acts as an article of reflection, perhaps for you to also think what is career success to you?
Sure, Pa came from a different era having started his career in education in the 60s. Yet, we feel some parameters used to gauge career success cannot be that different from one era to another.
Highest Rank You Can Go?
Love of the Job?
At his wake, students from a far turned up. People whom we do not know of cried and related stories about his impact on them; we received emails from students Pa taught in the 60s who are now grandparents themselves.
Money or Legacy?
But legacy is a different story. He had left behind a school with a great reputation of churning out good students. When thinking of what is career success for yourself, ask what legacy will you leave behind?
Best that You Can Be?
Regardless of your choice of career, be the best you can be.
Can your career also be your purpose in life? Or can you weave your purpose in life into your career? In our father, we saw this. Pa had always valued people’s potential.
He often told us, one generation must be better than the next. "You guys must be better qualified than me". He never went to college but his 3 sons did. One even made it to post doctorate at Harvard University. Another, to masters degree.
In his students, he made it his purpose in life to churn out as many good citizens as possible regardless of race, creed or religion. He was respected by all. He made it his purpose in life to see that each generation was better than another. And he started it in his own way in a small school in a tiny cranny of the world.
What is career success? It probably means a combination of some of these factors. No one can truly tell you what career success means to you. I hope we can all learn some of these lessons from a headmaster who has once passed this way.
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