What Professionals Really Care About at Work: Small Victories

November 10, 2014

According to a new LinkedIn survey released today, our definition of professional success is changing. Professionals are no longer solely focused on getting the big raise or promotion; increasingly, they're searching for those small victories at work -- like getting a compliment from a boss, a colleague or client (38%) -- that can lead to a greater sense of fulfillment.

When I think back to some of the most memorable moments in my career, a few milestones come to mind, the release of my first book or when I launched my own business. However, when I think about my most poignant accomplishments, it’s actually the small wins like hearing that my first client landed her dream job or getting the keys to my first office space, that made me feel the most fulfilled and proud.

At LinkedIn, we’re committed to helping our members achieve all types of success and have been sharing some of the amazing stories we’ve heard. We’ve also discovered key insights about professionals and what they really care about when it comes to being successful at their jobs. Here’s more on what we found…

The Ripple Effect

LinkedIn found that when managers express gratitude or praise for everyday contributions, it goes far beyond the individual and can have a widespread effect on a company. U.S. adults are more likely to have a better attitude (58%), do a better job (45%) and stay at the company longer (32%) when these small wins are recognized. Take Dr. Oscar Chavez who co-founded a dog-food company focused on whole foods; his contributions are being felt beyond the confines of an office, and within the homes of dog owners across the country. His motivation? The opportunity to share his ideas with the rest of the world.

Recognition Reigns

More than one in five professionals in the U.S. would rather have a job where their everyday contributions are recognized than one where they receive an extra vacation day. But recognition does not only have to come from a manager or boss. We hit the street and found that many professionals cite the most gratifying type of recognition is seeing the impact their accomplishments have on loved ones.

It’s All About The Journey

Everyone’s career path is different, as are the experiences that bring us happiness and pride along the way. For Jenni, landing a job after her yearlong hunt was not enough. It was the moment she sat at her new desk and saw her name and title front-and-center on her phone that made her feel she made it! This experience propelled Jenni’s confidence and overall passion, so much so that she is now the founder of her own marketing company. Or take Gurmukh, a LinkedIn member who invested 13 years in a career as an architect before going back to school to explore his true passion: robot and spaceship design. “Had I not had such a long journey, I would not be where I am today,” Gurmukh shares.

LinkedIn is celebrating all types of success – both big and small – and we want to hear your stories. Use #workhigh5 and share with your network what professional success means to you.

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