What does success really mean to you? Are you successful only if you earn a certain amount of money, perform miracles in your work, look a particular way, are in a perfect relationship, drive a great car or live in the right neighborhood? In other words, what are your values? Is success a "thing" to be achieved or a way of being? Quite often we have conflicting ideas of what it means to be successful, and our requirements for success may vary greatly in the personal, business and social realms.
As you begin this new career path, it's the perfect time to explore your values and how they relate to your success. Start by identifying what's truly important to you in terms of your overall life and then determine your career success markers. This activity also assists you in choosing whether you want to pursue opening a private practice or working for someone else. For instance, many people enter this field because they want the flexibility to take off on a spur-of-the-moment adventure or stay at home with a sick child. If this was an extremely high priority for you, it wouldn't be wise to take a job in a small company where you are expected to adhere to a strict schedule or work long hours.
Only you can determine what success is for you-although others might attempt to influence you. As the saying goes, "One person's junk is another's treasure." For me, success is accomplishing what I've set out to do: it's a process of setting and achieving goals.