LinkedIn expert shares top tips to finding personal success in 2018

When it comes to both our careers and personal lives, defining the word ‘success’ can be a task that's not only difficult, but sometimes impossible.

The word itself is so ambiguous and subjective that there really doesn’t seem to be one textbook definition of what it truly means to be successful, or to reach that ultimate sought-after level of success.

Perhaps that’s why the best thing we can do both professionally and recreationally, is come up with our own dynamic definition of what ‘success’ means to us.

Click through to see LinkedIn Expert Blair Decembrele's top tips for finding professional success in 2018:

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LinkedIn Expert's top tips on finding success
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LinkedIn Expert's top tips on finding success

Find Time for Mentoring Moments

If you’re seeking advice for how to navigate the next step in your career, it can be helpful to connect with someone with experience in your field for advice. LinkedIn’s Career Advice is a resource to connect with professionals who can help you out based on what type of advice you need and mutual interests.

Learn a New Skill

Evaluate where you want to grow, and take actionable steps to set yourself up for success. Almost 90 percent (89%) of professionals feel that skills are even more important than job titles. If your company website is long overdue for a refresh, take time to learn basic coding and offer to update the site. LinkedIn Learning is a resource for learning new skills from experts across industries on a variety of topics.

Give Back

The majority of professionals (87%) say success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you inspire others to do. Putting this into action, nearly 40% of professionals feel most successful when teaching others. If you want to volunteer, you can check out resources like the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace to see how your skills align with nearby volunteer opportunities

Evaluate What You’re “In It” For

With so much time spent working, it’s important to understand what you’re in it for -- what motivates you to get up and go to work everyday. You’re happiest when who you are lines up with what you do. By understanding what makes you happy in your career and beyond, you can establish goals that help you work towards your personal definition of success.

Take up a side hustle or pursue a passion project

It’s perfectly normal to not have a finite career path figured out. Try starting a side hustle in an area that interests you. More than one-third of professionals today (36%) find success in pursuing a passion project or side job. For example, if you’ve always loved art and have a knack for writing you could volunteer at a local museum’s marketing department. This can be a great way to uncover opportunities and potentially transition into a career shift.

Celebrate the small wins

Success isn't only defined by awards, accolades and titles -- nearly half of professionals feel that success is a journey made up ofbig and small accomplishments. Whether you gave a big presentation or landed a promotion don’t forget to celebrate each milestone in your career.

Leverage Your Network

Whether or not you are actively looking for a new role, networking is a key part of career development and one of the greatest tools you have in your career. Connect with professionals who can provide insight based on their experiences and career success. It’s likely they’ve been in the same situation as you before and can give you sound advice for how to navigate your next move. 

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Because it’s only by creating that vision and definition that we can put concrete steps in place to work towards reaching what we’re ultimately chasing after.

So, how are Americans defining success for themselves in 2018?

We chatted with LinkedIn Career Expert, Blair Decembrele, about the site’s latest research on professional success in 2018 to find out.

 AOL: Why is it important for everyone to have their own unique definition of success?

Blair Decembrele: Professionals spend an average of 90,000 hours working over the course of a lifetime. With all that time spent in the office, it’s important to pursue a career in something you are passionate about -- you are happiest when who you are lines up with what you do. By understanding what brings you joy in your career and beyond, and finding people to relate to along the way, you can establish goals to work towards your own personal definition of success.

AOL: Do you find that people’s views of success change throughout their career path/trajectory? Does it vary/change by age/life stages?

BD: Yes, absolutely. What you are in it for is likely to change throughout your professional journey and at various stages of your life. For example, an individual who is in their first job may place an emphasis on traveling for work and advancing their career, but 15 years later, might be more motivated by financial stability and having time with their kids after work free of professional obligations.

AOL: What was the most surprising part of this research to you (or did the data seem to align with what you usually find that people define success by)?

BD: A key insight we uncovered from the study is that today’s professionals are saying farewell to flashy titles in favor of skills. In fact, almost 90 percent of professionals say skills are more important than job titles and “learning a new skill” is the #1 goal professionals are in it for in 2018.

People are also increasingly looking for work/life balance and flexibility in their schedules. In fact, two out of the top five career goals for 2018 are disconnecting from work after hours and getting home for dinner every night.

Additionally, for the majority of professionals (87%) success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you inspire others to do. Putting this into action, nearly 40% of professionals feel most successful when teaching others. It was great to see that.

AOL: What workplace trends do you see emerging as a result of the different ways people are viewing success these days?

BD: While we all have unique definitions of success, there are several trends emerging that are shaping workplace culture and the future of work, such as:

Career FOMO is Real —FOMO,  or “fear of missing out,” as it relates to your career is more common than you may think - almost two-thirds of professionals say they fear they will miss their opportunity to succeed if they don’t keep their options open. This has lead to the rise of job hopping - a trend that has nearly doubled in the last year.

The Rise of the Entrepreneur --Only 4% of today’s professionals view the corner office as a measure of success. Now it's about being your own boss, with one-quarter of professionals saying success means starting their own business.

Flexibility over Finances -- More than one-third of professionals would take a 10% pay-cut for the ability to design their own schedule and nearly 40% of millennials would take a 10% pay cut if it means they’d have the opportunity to travel.

RELATED: 10 jobs where pay is rising the fastest

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10 jobs where pay is rising the fastest
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10 jobs where pay is rising the fastest

Truck driver

Growth year over year: 3.4%

Median annual pay December 2017: $53,043

Technical support

Growth year over year: 3.5%

Median annual pay December 2017: $45,526

Bank teller

Growth year over year: 3.5%

Median annual pay December 2017: $28,792

Cashier

Growth year over year: 3.6%

Median annual pay December 2017: $27,692

Emergency medical technician

Growth year over year: 3.8%

Median annual pay December 2017: $35,259

Design engineer

Growth year over year: 4%

Median annual pay December 2017: $72,514

Warehouse associate

Growth year over year: 4.1%

Median annual pay December 2017: $42,361

Paralegal

Growth year over year: 4.8%

Median annual pay December 2017: $48,900

Restaurant cook

Growth year over year: 4.8%

Median annual pay December 2017: $28,563

Medical technologist

Growth year over year: 6.2%

Median annual pay December 2017: $55,670

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