Are You Successful?

June 7, 2006
How do you define success? Joe Escobar takes a look at different ways we can avoid stagnation in our careers.

"Whatever you do, don’t become stagnant!" Those were some of the first words of advice given to me when I joined the ranks of the gainfully employed. How true those words are. Striving to continuously improve ourselves is the difference between success and failure. It’s the difference between just showing up for a paycheck and truly excelling in our careers.

So what defines career success? In his Aviation Interpersonal Maintenance Management course, Global Jet Services president J.D. McHenry shares tips for career success. He says that there are two main types of career expansion. One is a vertical expansion. That is where we take on more and more responsibility and seek out jobs with more status and responsibility. For example, we might go from an entry-level mechanic to a crew lead. Then we might go on to become a director of maintenance, and finally end up as the vice president of production. With each step comes more management responsibility and decision-making, with more financial gain.

The other type of career expansion involves horizontal expansion. Although this doesn’t involve a vertical career move (moving up the ladder), it involves broadening our experiences. It could be taking on more challenging work, taking advantage of learning opportunities, or accepting more job responsibility.

Whether it is through vertical or horizontal expansion, we must do everything in our power to continue to grow professionally and avoid stagnation. Only then can we move toward career success.

Thanks for reading!

Joe Escobar