What Motivates You?
By Tim Walker
Motivations are interesting things. They’re tough to nail down. They can change. They also influence many of the decisions we make, including those relating to our jobs. At their core, motivations are “literally the desire to do things.” They are crucial for things like setting goals and accomplishing projects.
Therefore, it’s so important to really understand our motivations. I’ve found that many times true motivations lie several steps removed from the actions they cause.
Let’s take, for example, three teenagers who walk into a grocery store and steal a pack of gum. A surface reading would say their motivations were to break the law. But how many of us are truly motivated to do bad things? It’s not really in our human nature to willfully hurt or harm others. I would further suggest these teens’ motivations were not fresh breath. If we look deeper we may see things like a desire for adventure, peer pressure or simply wanting to fit it. Now, I’m not trying to say these kids did nothing wrong, they did. Sometimes it takes some introspection to understand true motivations.
We can use this same exercise in our professional lives, especially if you’re looking for a new career. People switch jobs for a lot of reasons, including money, title, schedule, commute or work environment. Many times these are only surface level motivations. Dig deeper and you may realize true motivations like family, security or happiness.
Ok, so what?
Recognizing and understanding these motivations can help shape our goals. Knowing that family may be one of your true motivations, rather than money, could drastically change what kinds of jobs you look for. Whatever your motivations, it’s worth taking some time to think about the important things before you make a big move.
What motivates you?