How To Have Career Success Without A Real Job

Are you wondering if it’s possible to have career success without a real job?

Do you not want to be tied down to a 9–5 job? Would you like to do things the way that you want to do them so that you can live the life that you want to live?

I can tell you that it IS possible.

I don’t have a traditional real job. I work from home, have a flexible schedule, attend no meetings and report to no one except for myself. I don’t make a ton of money but I make enough money for now.

Do I define myself as having ‘career success’? Yes I do. And I love it!

So, if you are looking to have career success without a real job it is possible but there are some things you have to consider in order to get it.

#1 — Identify what ‘career success’ means to you.

There is simply no way to achieve career success if you don’t know what career success means to you.

For me, career success is defined by having a solid client base and that my clients reach their dreams. It’s having a flexible schedule. It means by getting my blogs published and syndicated. It’s about making enough money to live the simple life that I live and being able to help my kids.

What does career success mean for you?

Does it mean going into an office every day and begin part of a team and receiving recognition? Does it mean that you make a lot of money? Does it involve helping people? Does it give you a flexible schedule? Does it mean that other people perceive you as successful?

Defining what career success means to you is an essential part of achieving it because you can never do so if you don’t know what success means to you.

If you believe that career success means being part of an office, working as part of a team and getting annual raises and bonuses then you probably will never feel like you have achieved career success if you don’t have a real job.

If, however, you will feel like you have achieved career success by making your own schedule, doing something that you are passionate about and knowing that you might not ever make a ton of money, then YES it is possible that you can have career success without a real job.

#2 — Identify what you are passionate about.

Once you have decided what success looks like to you and you have decided that it is possible for you to feel good about your career success without a real job, then it’s time to decide what it is you want to do with your life.

Ask yourself what you are passionate about. If your career involves something that you are passionate about then success is way more likely. I am passionate about helping people. That has helped me, big time, in making my business what I want it to be.

Perhaps you love dogs and spending time with them makes you really happy. So what kind of work can you do around dogs?

Here in NYC dog walkers are everywhere. The one I know charges $20 per dog per day and walks up to 20 dogs over the course of 10 hours, 4 days a week. That’s $400 per day, much of it under the table. My friend is very happy with his life because he gets to be with dogs, not have to get up at the crack of dawn and he makes enough money to live the way he wants to live.

So what is your passion? If you want to have career success without a real job, focusing on your passion will make it all the more likely to come true.

#3 — Stay connected to how you are feeling about your career choice.

For many of us, career success evolves over time. What was important to us in our youth might change as we get older.

I have a friend who taught skiing after college. He was passionate about skiing and was able to make enough money to live doing what he wanted to do.

And then he got married and had a child. That changed everything for him. Because he could no longer make the money that he needed to support himself and his family, he no longer thought of himself as successful. And he wanted to change that.

So my friend went back to school and then got a real job — a job in an area that he was passionate about but a real job nonetheless.

For him, even though he transitioned to a real job, he could still define himself as successful in his career.

For me, I could never go back to punching a time clock. Working on my own is a part of who I am now and, even if I would LIKE to be making a bit more money, the fact that I have a roster of steady clients and that my last article was picked up by the Huffington Post, allows me to sincerely feel like I have achieved career success. If I need more money in the future I will branch out from the work I do today but I will never again have a real job.

Having career success without a ‘real job’ is possible, especially in this world that we live in.

No more are 9–5 jobs the norm. Opportunities to work from home or work flexible schedules or have a variety of smaller jobs to pay the bills are part of the current fabric of our working lives.

It is essential, however, for you to define what career success is for you. If you don’t know what it is then it will be impossible for you to achieve it.

Also, follow your passions and stay connected to how your career is working for you. Your definition of career success might change over time and you want to notice if it does.

So what does career success mean to you? Ask yourself that question right now! And let me know…

I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published in The Huffington Post, Prevention Magazine, The Good Man Project, among others. I works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Let me help you! Contact me here or email me at



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Mitzi Bockmann

I’m a certified NYC based Life and Love Coach who works with people to help them find, and keep, happiness and love.