#myLife Q&A: Workplace Motivation
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
After graduation, I found my dream job that allowed me to build on my skill set and stretch myself to grow personally and professionally. I sought out tasks others did not want to own. I put a lot of effort into becoming better and building my brand at the firm. A few years went by and I suddenly realized that my motivation decreased. Once I start something, I do a great job but getting started is becoming harder and harder. Where did the excitement go and more importantly, how do I regain my motivation?
Motivation comes from within. You and only you can rebuild it.
Some external factors may help maintaining high levels of motivation, for example rewarding tasks, recognition from clients or colleagues and wildly successful project outcomes. These are all nice to have but I advise not to rely on them as they are not within your control and may never come.
The lack of motivation can be very disturbing, especially if you are ambitious and fully devoted to your career. It is also natural and we all go through it from time to time. So how to deal with this issue?
1. Realign your daily activities with your passion
Job responsibilities and passion change so there is a possibility that the two were a perfect match earlier but became misaligned over time. Take a deeper look into how your role at work and interest evolved. Are you stuck in a position when you feel ready for more? Did you move up when you would rather go sideways? Do you wish you worked at a more structured larger company or in a more entrepreneurial smaller one? Do you enjoy working with your team or do you easily get annoyed by them? Do you receive the desired attention and care from your boss? Decreasing motivation alarms you to recalibrate so don’t ignore the signs.
2. Remember your why
Remind yourself why your current job helps you reach your broader career goal, how it fits into your #WinPlan and what doors it opens for you. Does it still fulfill its purpose or did you already move beyond that?
3. Exercise your options
Examine whether this is a temporary disconnect due to recent events or emotions. If it’s more than that, evaluate the options you have, which can include
Introducing new ideas and getting leadership support to pursue them in a few hours a week in addition to your regular duties
Transitioning to a new project that offers learning and excitement
Working with different teams and high-energy people
Transferring to a new department
Starting a side-hustle and getting a taste of being your own boss
Turning your attention to a hobby where you can build self-confidence and experience successes - who knows where it can lead? You can try blogging, photography, learning a high-level programming language like Python, applying your skills at volunteering for a cause that's deeply important for you - the possibilities are endless
Looking for new a new job that better aligns with your calling
While it’s important to reflect on your motivation, don’t get stuck there. Move quickly before you get demotivated or even depressed. Try the ideas above or invent your own way. Work is where we spend most of our waking hours so make it count.