What is success?

I want you to take a moment and write down 5 things that you think success is.

Go ahead. I'll wait.

Now. Write down 5 things that you think a good life is. Are they the same? Of the 5 things that you used to define success - will those things make you happy? Will they bring you joy? Will you consider your life well spent if you do those things?

Often the answer is no.

So let's take a break then and talk about success differently because work was not designed for women. The success that many of us have been taught to strive for is NOTHING that you actually want.

I will use myself as an example. I went to university. Got a degree. Got another one. Got a job in HR, got a bigger job in HR, got a consulting gig (ooohhh fancy). These were the things I was taught that I should want.

Then I had a kid and my worldview changed. I didn't want to commute 50 minutes each way to a job where I did things I didn't particularly enjoy. I didn't want to be the last mom to pick up my kid at daycare and I derived zero satisfaction in helping my company make more money.

So here is what is broken then. That path TOTALLY works for some people. Sure, amazing for them. But what about the 95% of people who it does not?

How do WE define success?

And this is where it gets interesting. Here is my old vs. my new success list:


  1. Make over 100K
  2. Reach VP title
  3. Become a good manager
  4. Travel opportunities at work
  5. Make impactful change within my organization


  1. Pay myself a salary that allows me to live comfortably
  2. Have the flexibility to be there for my family
  3. Build a thriving community that supports both me and our vision for a better workplace for all.
  4. Not work Fridays
  5. The opportunity to learn, teach and change systems

The second list is something we NEVER talked about. These were shameful things to ask for. These were ways of working that do not conform to archaic workplaces but there HAS to be new versions of success. There HAS to be new ways of working.

The old ways are not working - so I want you to find your new success goals.

If you want to meet with other women who are ready to work differently. Who are supportive. Who will help you find new ways and have a lot of fun doing it - come and join us.

The Moms at Work Collective is launching again soon. Get on the waitlist and come and figure this out with us.

Allison Venditti

Career Coach, HR Expert, salary negotiation whisperer, pay transparency and equity advocate. Founder of Moms at Work, Canada's largest organization committed to helping women earn more money, land better jobs and build community. Allison was named The Globe and Mail Report on Business Top 50 Changemakers 2022, is a regular speaker and media expert with over 100 interviews in 2021.


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