Motivation is your personal rocket fuel for your career: To climb up to your goals, you’ll need an internal boost to stay focused, move beyond obstacles, and remain engaged with your work.
At the start of your career, you may be energized by a steady flow of new projects and challenges, allowing you to grow your skills. Later, you may be motivated to establish a reputation as a leader within a particular industry. At some point, salary may be the most important factor in your career satisfaction or it may be simply deepening your knowledge about an issue.
Acknowledging the range of motivations at different career can help when searching for a new job (be sure to share your motivations with your recruiter), negotiating terms for a promotion or hiring, and moving into an entirely new career.
Employers too can benefit from recognizing the different reasons for why their employees show up each morning. Understanding what drives an employee to give more than 100% in a job allows a manager to structure responsibilities and opportunities that let the employee thrive and deliver exceptional value to a company.
Which of the following ignites your passion for your career?
Overall happiness and satisfaction:
- Challenging and meaningful work
- Compensation and benefits
- Professional title and status
- Being viewed as a thought leader and influencer in your company and industry
- Recognition for work performed
- Belief that career is contributing to a better future
- Contributing to the betterment of your community or world at large, k.a. making life better for others
- Making a difference for the company
- Opportunity to grow and advance through a company
- Developing a career through challenges and solving problems
- Setting and achieving goals
- Becoming an issue expert or master of a craft
Being Part of a Team:
- Working under the leadership of trustworthy employers and managers
- Working in an environment that fosters respect towards employees, experiences typical staff turnover rates (see our blog about employee retention), and creates a healthy work culture.
Also, individuals can also be motivated when others doubt their abilities to achieve goals. Sometimes criticism can be a powerful motivator.
It’s also important to recognize that your motivation requires occasional maintenance.
How to Sustain Motivation:
- Make a list of the reasons why your career is important. Evaluate and update them as needed
- Seek out opportunities for reflection to determine what is making you passionate (or anxious) about your career path
- Set a career goal and visualize its success in detail including those things that motivate you
- Develop a plan to accomplish the goal in bite-sized chunks with rewards over time
- Anticipate potential setbacks and think through how you can move them with purpose
- Develop a network of peers and seek out environments that fosters your motivation
Which examples are most relevant to your career? Which of those apply to your employees? Be sure to let your recruiter know about your career motivations as you seek a new position.