How Do You Measure Thriving?

BY: CHELSEA SZABO, Verbal Courage


5 years ago, someone asked me, are you thriving at work? I simply answered, “yes.” I had recently been promoted and received a glowing review. If my boss was impressed with my performance, didn’t that mean I was thriving?

It seems like an easy question to answer, doesn’t it? Surprisingly though, it’s quite difficult but no one stops long enough to realize it. What does thriving at work actually mean? Does it refer to things like big titles, swanky offices, or lots of green? Or rather does it refer to internal feelings like a sense of accomplishment, happiness, or growth?

The difficulty of this question came to surface when I was asked a second question, what scale do you use to determine whether or not you are thriving?

That’s when it hit me. Holy crap, for years I was using my industry’s, society’s, the media’s and other people’s scale to gauge my own level of thriving professionally. So, despite any recent promotion, deep down I knew I was only thriving on the surface if at all. Internally I was drowning. I was bored and lacked passion and fulfillment in the office. Money was no longer enough to keep me motivated. I was stuck.

The final question thrown my way, sent me on a 5-year self-discovery journey to getting unstuck - if the scale society or whoever influenced, doesn’t truly gauge thriving under your own definition, what does your personal scale look like?  

Taking the time to discover what fired me up, inspired me, and lit up my passion was one of the greatest gifts I've given to myself because it lead me to coaching. It also made my time in corporate America before becoming a coach way more enjoyable because I knew what to focus on, and what would bring higher levels of happiness and fulfillment.

Have you taken the time to define what thriving at work means to you?  If not, the start of 2017 is the perfect time to do so!

In order to maximize your passion, engagement and excitement around your role and on a larger scale, your career, you need to roll up your sleeves and determine what truly matters to you. I know this task might feel a bit daunting and overwhelming, but ask yourself - is it worth compromising your own professional happiness any longer?

4 Tips to Help You Define What Thriving Means to You: 

  • Figure out your top 5 personal values (the things that make you tick). You want your job to honor at least 2-3 of these.
  • I LOVE That List - write a list of things that excite you at work, and bucket those things into larger categories like - being creative, connecting with others, being analytical, etc.
  • Think of someone you believe is thriving and describe him or her. Are there any themes or characteristics that stick out?
  • Use all of your answers to the questions above to make a list of 2-3 things that define what thriving means on a personal level.