What’s struck me most since finishing my first year at university is the difference in the way people see and define ‘success’.
“How much do you make a year?”. “What’s your job title?”. “Is that car a 16-plate?”. These are all ways people hedge around the question we’re all curious to know the answer to and make a judgement on…”How successful are you?”
Countless conversations with friends from home, people working in advertising, and my Uncle have all provided varying interpretations of success, with the one most common amongst people my age being the amount of money you have.
In the way we see the world now, a Junior Doctor saving a man’s life is deemed ‘less successful’ than an accountant in financial services just because of the former’s sub-30k yearly salary. Surely being a ‘success’ in your career should be influenced by what you do in that career and not the figure on your pay check at the month’s end?
This is an attitude I fear money-crazed millennials will struggle to shake-off. Whether it’s due to the copious coverage of Instagram’s ‘successful’ rich kids or our fixation with society’s ‘signs of success’: your car, your house, your clothes; this obsession for money as a short-hand for success is bound to spell worry for the future of society’s more noble professions.
So if you’re reading this during the lunch hour of your 9-5 weekday job, earning barely minimum wage like myself and so many others do, remember this:
“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives” – Michelle Obama