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May 22, 2017

What Motivates You in the Workplace?


What Motivates You in the Workplace?

Go to the gym and watch the people on the row of treadmills. Don’t linger or someone may call security. But think about these people. Why are they on the treadmill? So they can run a marathon in a few months? Maybe. To look good in a bathing suit this summer? Sure…probably some of them. Some of them are there for the health of their heart and others for the health of their marriage. There are many reasons to use a treadmill. None of them look all that different using it unless you know the person you’re looking at and what is driving them.

When a company extended an offer to you and you accepted it, you entered into relationship with that company that looks much like those people on the treadmills. Before you started work, everybody looked pretty much the same. They all worked at a certain pace, with certain surroundings and certain motivations. They all kept certain rhythms to their days, some keeping headphones in, some talking to people all day. Some moved quickly; others not so much. Some were clearly motivated by a desire for promotion or personal impact. Others were driven by something you had yet to identify. But regardless of their pace or their motivation, the closer you got to them the more you could see the differences between them and the ambition that fueled them.

What does this have to do with choosing a company to work for?

Think of yourself as the person on the treadmill. You’re at a company for a reason. Is it to prepare you for what’s next? Is it so you can get through the week and have a weekend to yourself? Is it because everyone around you has convinced you that this is where you belong and what you should do? What’s driving you to keep going?

Your motivation is more than just incentives. Even the salesman is driven by something more than commission. He’s motivated by competition, by accomplishment and success. Your motivation is a steady, driven, and intrinsic piece of who you are.
So when you’re considering what motivates you in a job, think about who you are on the treadmill. Are you motivated by a desire for position or financial success? Are you motivated to learn new things and have variety to your days? Are you motivated to be free in the evenings and on weekends? There are a lot of different motivations. Most of them aren’t bad.

Having said that…If you’re moving at a “why bother” pace without any real drive to increase your ability, maybe it’s time for a change. If you’re driven by an internal competitive spirit that will run anyone over who gets in your way, maybe it’s time to slow down and take a breath.

Wherever you are and whatever motivates you, the workplace is designed to be a place of growth and development. It’s meant to be a place that gives you permission to try new things and learn something you’ve never known before.

Find the place where your motivation will be rewarded.

Happy job hunting!

Stay connected. There are more good conversations and tips for good job-hunting.


Family Innovations is the leading counseling service of the Upper Midwest, and prides itself on employing some of the most capable, passionate counselors, therapists, and support staff in the industry. If you or someone you know could be a fit for Family Innovations, check in at #work4fi

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