Career

4 questions to ask yourself to stay motivated

You’ve set your priorities and mindset in order, now it’s time to think about the bigger picture. Whilst you’re crushing your day to day action items, don’t lose sight of why you’re going to work each day.

TODAY’S STRATEGY: Keep yourself motivated

I find motivation such a fascinating topic and I love to hear what motivates people.

Last week, our Managing Director mentioned that her secret to being a good person at work is getting her gym session in. If she doesn’t hit that goal first thing in the morning, she has a bad day.

My colleague Michael often speaks of the joy he feels when he goes home to a hug from his daughter. My other colleague Sam has recently pursued his new found passion for golf, a great outlet outside of work.***

Moi? My motivation is mostly intrinsic. I’m motivated when I’m learning new things and when I know I’m doing a good job. I’m more about the process than the glory of the end result. For a while there my motivation was saving every penny and day of annual leave for adventures in Europe.

It doesn’t matter where your motivation comes from, the main thing is that you understand what energises you and how to leverage that every day. If you’re really struggling to feel motivated I’ve often found it helps to ask the following questions:

Those of you who read my blog know risk remediation and policy reviews are not my area of expertise. In my new role I’m operating way outside of my product marketing comfort zone. I could easily hide behind excuses and give in to my fears.

Instead, I’m choosing to focus on the positive: I’m broadening my skill set. I simply don’t know where that’s going to take me. Since my high school classes in economics I’ve always dreamed of being the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). Guess what the RBA does a lot of? Policy! Now I’ve motivated myself!

That’s just one example of how the above questions have helped me recently.

Great people leaders also understand the power of motivation

I once worked for someone who was extrinsically motivated by status, promotions and chasing the big bonuses. There’s nothing wrong with this. The mistake this person made though was assuming that everyone was motivated by the same things. It was an absolute punish to work for this person because they didn’t understand how to get the best out of me.

The frustration built up and one day I exploded. I tried to explain that all I wanted was a bit of recognition and they said “But you got the Leadership award, what more do you want?!” Each month there was a morning tea where they presented awards in front of the entire office for different things. I won two of them.

I didn’t care about the glory of the award or the $500 bonus. You don’t get recognised or promoted solely by awards, your leaders need to be advocating for you. This person beat me down jab after jab and I knew this person wasn’t my ally. They refused to advocate for me and consistently took credit for my work.

After this episode, they responded to EVERY single email I sent with “Thank you Amy”. It was beyond a joke and that annoyed me even more. Sigh.

Never stay in a job where you aren’t allowed to shine, it will cripple your motivation.

***Michael & Sam found out about this blog last week. Their response was positive and very funny – they were both worried about whether I wrote about them in my blog! Now I have, so if they read it then they’ll see this!


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