“Our current notion of success, in which we drive ourselves into the ground, if not the grave – in which working to the point
of exhaustion and burnout is considered a badge of honor…it’s a model of success that isn’t working for women.”
 by Arianna Huffington

I have to admit that once upon a time I measured success in my career by my salary. With each new role I took on, each increase in my pay, I felt validated and like I was on my way to being ‘successful’. But each extra dollar in my bank account on payday came at a cost: a longer commute, working outside of normal business hours, being on call 24/7, travelling for work.

This was all fine when I only had myself to consider. But everything changed when my son came along. Suddenly, and without prior consideration, my model of success didn’t work. It no longer mattered how much money I earned or what my title was; I couldn’t keep up with the demands of having a progressing career and mothering a young child. I was exhausted: physically, mentally and emotionally. I needed to redefine success.

“Most of the time, the discussion about the challenges of women at the top centers around the difficulty of navigating
a career and children – of “having it all”. It’s time we recognize that, as the workplace is currently structured, a lot of women
don’t want to pay the price – in terms of their health, their well-being, and their happiness.”
by Arianna Huffington

The first time I read these words, I felt relieved. Not because women are leaving the workforce to find a better way of life, but because I wasn’t alone in feeling this way. I no longer felt the pull to climb the ladder; instead, I overwhelmingly felt like I needed to put myself and my family first.

When I focused on my priorities and put them in the right order, the most logical step for me was to tap out of the rat race and work for myself. This wasn’t me giving up on my career; quite the opposite actually. It was about recognising that I had gained a wealth of experience over the previous 14 years and could draw on that to literally create the next step in my career. A step that worked for
me, for once.

I am still getting used to being a freelancer and working for myself (or being a small business owner, if you will). But do you know what happened the moment I quit my last job and called myself a freelance writer? I started to thrive.

Its been six weeks since I focused my career on being a freelance writer and I’m already happier, in work and in life. And that is my new measure for success.