Success is defined as the positive result of an effort or the achievement of a set goal (Duden). Virtually every person strives for success. But success is not equal to success. I would therefore like to dedicate this article to the subject of success and to break it down after three generations, that is, three types of success. I give a slightly exaggerated example of illustrative in each category. Maybe you’ll find yourself in a category.

Reading tip: Generation management

Professionally successful through Status: Generation X

Generation X are the birth years from 1965 to 1980 and are considered dutiful, status-oriented and demand a separation of private and professional life. So what could success mean for this generation? Studies and the current factual situation show that status and symbols have a high significance.

Imagine: you drive your big car to work in the morning and you are the leader of a department. It is very important to you to be a manager and recently you have also received a very high new salary (more than your colleague). In the evening, eat together in your big house (bigger than that of your neighbour) together with the family.

I believe that status and prosperity can contribute to happiness and make you feel happy every day. So if you define status as happiness, then vertical ascension is right for you.

Reading tip: Become a leader

Professionally successful through freedom: Generation Y

What is the use of EUR 1 million in our account if we do not see the world and sit in the office for 80 hours a week? Generation Y dreams of a free life and flexible time allocation. One key word is New Work: the decoupling of the place and time of the work execution.

Imagine: You work on a laptop and lie on the beach in the trailer, surf through the Maldives during your lunch break or live normally in Germany but have no problems just going brunching at 11 o’clock or waiting for the craftsman in the home office from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.?

For Generation Y, success in the profession means the freedom to realize one’s dreams and to be able to work flexibly. So if you define free time (freedom) as a success, then you are right here. It is important that you are professionally fit.

Reading tip: Getting on with the technical work

Professionally successful through perfection: Generation Z

Generation Z should return to old values and look for perfection. One driver of this is social networks. Let’s open Instagram and see the perfect lives and lunches and daily routines of each other every day, then we quickly feel small when we look at our lives. Occupation, fitness, possession and job titles must form a perfect unit.

Imagine: in the gym in the morning, in the perfect loft office during the day and in the evening at the beautiful afterwork with Skyview. Of course, the perfect day must also be online as an Insta story.

For Generation Z, success in the profession means a perfect overall picture that looks harmonious to the outside world and presents itself as a high performer. I think that’s true for the time being, but can still change a lot. Generation Z is still young and everything can change. That’s why I give a reading tip to find the professional subject area.

Reading tip: How to find your professional subject area


You realize that success is not equal to success. I think every category is great. I believe that you have to choose for yourself. I myself put myself in the way of Generation Y: freedom is success. What is it like for you? Tell me in the small survey.

Was bedeutet für Sie beruflicher Erfolg?

Image Source: Background Photo Created by jcomp –

Genderhinweis: Ich habe zur leichteren Lesbarkeit die männliche Form verwendet. Sofern keine explizite Unterscheidung getroffen wird, sind daher stets sowohl Frauen, Diverse als auch Männer sowie Menschen jeder Herkunft und Nation gemeint. Lesen Sie mehr dazu.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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