Become a “Happy High Achiever” 
Happen to Your Career

Become a “Happy High Achiever” 

Career coach Scott Barlow, host of the HTYC podcast, guides you toward building the mind-set you need to pursue a deeply fulfilling career – and life.

Career coach Scott Barlow, host of the popular HTYC podcast, offers a thoughtful and encouraging guide to escaping harmful mind-sets that hold you back from finding your purpose, addressing your needs and landing your perfect job. Barlow teaches you to tailor your career around a healthy work-life balance full of meaning and joy.


Strive to become what Barlow calls a “Happy High Achiever”: someone who is driven and happy in their work. Realizing the Happy High Achiever lifestyle involves prioritizing changing your career; defining your ideal job; experimenting in that field; and implementing a plan of action.

The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome.Woodrow Wilson

Ask yourself where you want to end up. If your ideal life involves living in rural Washington and raising three kids, for example, don’t leave your fiancé and move to Omaha for a job promotion. Your ideal career should mirror your ideal life.

Your surrounding environment should facilitate change, Barlow states. Make time and space in your schedule for the research and experimentation that leads to a new career. You may not be able to quit your present job and fully immerse yourself in seeking a new one. But you can find spare hours in your day to reach out to your network or improve your résumé.

A career change can take months. If you expect it to happen instantly, you will feel like a failure. Set a reasonable pace.


You gain clarity when you declare what you want. For example, Kristy worked in PR for 20 years but didn’t much enjoy her work. She told her boss she wanted to do something involving writing, food and travel. Together, they created a position for Kristy that incorporated her top priorities.

Clarity requires naming your top priorities and having the courage to pursue them, Barlow writes. If time with your family is important, for example, build your job around that pleasant, fulfilling commitment.

When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.Attributed to Roy E. Disney, executive for Walt Disney Company

Sometimes, you may think you know what’s important, but the reality of it makes you unhappy. Like junk food, it tastes good at first, but in the long run, it destroys your health.

A formula exists, based on research into human needs, that can help you avoid such mistakes and show you how to have a meaningful career: You must address your need for societal contribution, flexibility, work-life balance, growth, utilization of strengths, community support and core values. Understanding the deeper meaning, context and right combination of each need will build the image of your ideal career.

Crucial Career Elements

It should be clear to you how your work helps others. You may work for the best charity in the world, but if you spend all your time doing paperwork and not connecting with the people you help, you won’t experience the actual benefits of your position. Without flexibility and autonomy over your schedule, your life will feel out of balance. Quality of life means your work supports your basic needs, such as food and shelter, and other needs, such as the desire to start a family, have pets or travel more.

Work must not prevent you from enjoying life or growing. You need variety, new challenges and fresh perspectives. You need a job that utilizes your signature strengths so you feel empowered, positive and less stressed. When your job matches your skills and passions, it doesn’t feel like work.

Most people leave jobs due to toxic bosses or co-workers. You must work with people who lift you up and encourage you to try new things. The company culture must reflect your values and morals. If it doesn’t, you won’t be able to express your authentic self.

“Ideal Career Profile”

You can easily say no to a job that isn’t right for you. But complications arise when you face an only-OK opportunity. Convenience doesn’t equate with meeting your needs. Adhering to your ideal career profile will prevent you from accepting mediocre jobs and keep you striving to find the perfect one.

Trying out new jobs helps you learn what you like or dislike. Experimenting gives you the insight to make a reasoned decision without taking on excessive risk. You can go beyond your comfort zone, fail, succeed and learn what works.

Barlow urges you to increase your knowledge by reaching out to companies or people who work in the fields that pique your interest. He suggests you work temporarily for free or volunteer in the job you think might suit you to gain experience. Alternately, find a side hustle or short-term position to earn as you learn. Seek out problems you can solve. For example, while interviewing or talking to other professionals, ask which issues a company faces to determine whether your skill set is a good match for that firm.

You should approach these experiments without expecting a particular outcome. Remember, you will face setbacks. For example, potential employers or advisers may say you lack specific skills or the necessary background for the field you want to enter. Reframe the skills you do have so they sound like the experience the job you want demands. Your confidence will go a long way in convincing others of your abilities.

You must change your behaviors to allow yourself to thrive in the new, better situation.Scott Antony Barlow

When you obtain your ideal job, cast off any outdated or negative attitudes that could hold you back. A fresh start gives you the opportunity to create healthy boundaries, such as asking for what you want, taking time off when you need it and prioritizing your family. By sticking to what matters, you will go from merely surviving to a fulfilling life in which you thrive. Don’t draw boundaries around your new career. Thanks to your consistent efforts, it will constantly evolve.


Scott Anthony Barlow offers an interesting, useful and encouraging approach. His tactical guide for getting you the career you want proves highly practical and engagingly emotional and psychological. While listing steps you can take in the real world, Barlow emphasizes how you can and must change your view of yourself, your life at work and your potential upside. Barlow is a convincing coach – he recognizes how people get in their own way and how self-belief can mitigate those missteps. Barlow understands how to instill confidence in his readers and his advice proves deeply persuasive.

Share this Story
Show all Reviews