What drives you to taken action, achieve something or move in a specific direction? Where does that drive come from? How can you tap into your motivation more often to take you where you want to go and to be who you want to be? You are in the driving seat of your job and career come rain or shine. So it pays to recognise what motivates you and the conditions where you flourish best.

The link to job and career

Knowing what motivates you is important to being employable because:

  • You are more likely to be motivated in an environment which matches your personal values.
  • You are more likely to be motivated by what you prefer doing, feel energised by or are good at.
  • It gives employers clues to your attitude, character and how to get the best from you.
  • Employers want to know your ‘why’ because motivation is one of the ingredients essential to performance. 

You are likely to face questions at a job interview such as:

  • What gets you out of bed in the morning?Motivation
  • What motivates or demotivates you?
  • When are you at your best?
  • What do you struggle with? What gets you down?Motivation
  • How do you create the conditions to motivate others?
  • How will you motivate this team?
  • What has worked for you/with others in the past?
  • Give an example of when you recovered from a setback?

Motivation is internal

Motivation is about the energy and commitment you bring to doing something. It’s internal and you do it because you want to. There is always an assessment tool out there to help you if you struggle to identify what motivates you. Here are some questions to help you start pinpointing what gets you going:

  • When am I at my best? How do I behave when I am at my best? What mindset do I have?
  • What is my natural disposition? Am I more optimistic or pessimistic? How does it help me?
  • When have my personal values helped drive me to successfully achieve something?
  • When have I gone beyond what is expected of me? What would I do for free?
  • What have I done off my own back to improve myself?
  • What demotivates me? How do I feel? How do I behave? How do I cope?

Motivating is external

You find things motivating when that energy and commitment is released by the conditions or environment you’re in. That’s external and it influences your behaviour. Here are some examples of motivating conditions that help people to be at their best. Which ones help you the most?

  • Enough income (to pay the bills, pursue outside work interests etc)
  • Stability and security
  • Belonging, acceptance, being part of a group, team spirit
  • Recognition from others, reputation, prestige, appreciation
  • Belief in your potential, investment in your growth, personal support
  • Development and advancement opportunities
  • Having responsibility, authority, powermotivation
  • Able to participate, voice your views, be heard
  • A culture of learning, discovery, creativity, possibility, empowerment, trust

Like Maslow before him, career analyst Dan Pink has shown from research that when people are paid enough (in their eyes), then the work itself becomes their focus of attention. They are more likely to do things willingly and off their own back (or to get out of bed in the morning) when they have autonomy, mastery, and purpose.





You know what I’m going to say… if you found this post motivating, what action will you take in your job or career to be at your best more of the time?