A sizeable proportion of people go through large portions of their career not feeling motivated towards their job, the company they work for or even transcend their life outside of work.
So is this something that people should just accept, with the viewpoint that they are not one of the ‘few lucky ones’ who have a job that they are genuinely connected with, or is this something that people have the power to alter? Before addressing the specifics, it is important to recognise that motivation is something that has to come from within, something that you must take personal responsibility for. Equally, it’s essential for you to recognise that it is YOUR responsibility to motivate yourself – it is NOT the responsibility of your manager, your colleagues, your company or even your friends and family.
"If you want to make strides in your career and life in general, then you have to be self-motivated"
The plus side is that if you want to project yourself as a motivated, energetic and driven individual, your colleagues and managers will be drawn to you and want to invest in you & work with you.
This all sounds good in theory, but how does this translate into the real world if you are in a role or company where you are not feeling motivated? This is how:
1. Take responsibility for your situation
You have to look at the situation you are in and take responsibility for being there.
I appreciate that you may have taken a job because you were desperate, or taken on a role because of a merger, or accepted certain additional conditions or tasks in order to remain employed. However, what ever the circumstances were (and are), it is important to accept that YOU chose this path. You always have a choice, even if it is deciding the path that you do not wish to go down. Either way, it’s still a choice that you have taken.
If you seek to cast blame towards managers, directors, other departments or even colleagues, you’ll achieve nothing other than gain a reputation as a ‘moaner’ (or even worse.)
2. Find a way to connect 'you' to your job
It is important to find a 'meaning' in your job as this will greatly help in increasing your motivation as it enables you to see a greater purpose for doing your role.
A meaning can be derived from several sources, for example;
- Your colleagues – have you ever considered how your job helps other people in your company? Your job may actually keep other people employed.
- Your family – if you struggle to connect meaning to your role in the work environment, then consider it against your home environment. Your job provides your family with a home, a standard of living, presents at Christmas, or a family holiday.
When you find your anchor, refer to it each time you begin to feel de-motivated, using it to re-focus your efforts.
3. Plan for a better future
Although the job you’re currently in may not be your ‘dream job,’ it may provide a valuable stepping stone to a job that will provide you with a sense of meaning and satisfaction. As such, having a vision for where you want to be in your future career is a very important motivator. If your future role is with your existing company, then the only way you’ll be considered for a promotion is to ensure your performance is exceptional within your current role. Equally, if the role you want to move to is within another company, you will be expected to demonstrate a clear track record of success within your previous roles. Finally, even if your current role is not something you enjoy, never discount how it can still teach you valuable skills that you can take into future roles.
4. Take on added responsibilities
If you are not feeling challenged, put yourself forward for some additional roles that you may enjoy and get noticed. These activities may be nothing to do with your existing job, it could be volunteering for a social committee, or even starting a social event. The point is that it will provide you with a positive connection with your company and your colleagues, which in turn will improve your motivation.
5. Get promoted by performing exceptionally well
As crazy as this may sound, if you want to move on from your existing role, then throw yourself into it and perform to the best of your ability! If you do this, it will be the quickest way to get noticed and gain a promotion.
The objective of this article was to highlight that motivation is entirely something that comes from within and that you have much more influence over the level of motivation you possess than you probably realise. The five examples that I have listed in this article, only touch the surface of how you can engage more with your role and company, and thus increase your motivation. The more you begin to think about the subject of motivation, the more options and avenues will open themselves up to you – but only after YOU make the active choice to seek them out.