Career motivation
What is it, where does it come from?

Career motivation refers to what energises you about your work, what you most enjoy doing while working and what you like about your work environment. It's about all those aspects..... and more.

Is it necessary to have this to be successful in career, and more broadly, is it necessary for a successful life?

The answer to this question really revolves around the role that work and employment plays in your life.

Is your work important to you? If so, why? If not, why not?

Your answers to these two questions will start to help you to identify what is important to you in your life and career. These are just some your values.

Career motivation and your values

Your career and life values can be described as those beliefs in which you have an emotional investment.....in other words these are the things in life that really matter to you.

Your career values and what motivates you about your work will be unique to you. There isn't a right or wrong way of being, thinking or feeling here. It's about what is right for you.....at this point in your life.

If you are like most people, you probably haven't had any reason, ever, to think about what is truly important to you in terms of your beliefs and values.

For most of us these are things are mostly unconscious, or at best fuzzy and ill-defined.....it's almost as if we're living on auto pilot.

So....what causes people to think about their values and beliefs?

Usually a crisis - for example, a life threatening accident or illness affecting either yourself, a family member or close friend.

Often people who are thinking about making a career change will do some deep reflection about their values and overall career motivation.

Career change motivation

I consider that clarification of one's values to be an essential step in your career planning and career management.

When your values are expressed in the work you do it is much more likely that you will experience the high levels of satisfaction that come with doing something that is personally meaningful to you, and to other people.

Further to this your values can influence your career decision making about a range of factors. For example:

  • What sort of boss would you prefer to work for? Why?
  • What is most important to you in your working environment? Why?
  • How important is your salary or wage to you?
  • Which do you prefer - public service, a for profit, or a not for profit employer? Why?
  • What employer policies are important to you in your ideal employer? Why are these important?
  • Is your job title or status in the organisation important to you?
  • What is your definition of a job well done?

These are just some of the many questions you could be asking to determine what is important to you in your employment and career progression.

Career motivation
Why do your values matter?

The simple answer is....you're most likely to be happy in career, and in life, when what you are doing, and what's happening to you, and around you, are in alignment with what you believe in and value.

So how happy are you in your career and in life? If you've said very happy - congratulations! And long may it continue for you.

If you answered not very happy, or very unhappy - here's the good news - you can exercise the power of choice and do something about it. And the place to begin is to clarify, really clarify what's important to you in life and in career.

Once you have clarity about your career values and more broadly, your life values, you can begin to evaluate what's actually happening in your life.....AND identify the cause/s of your unhappiness. It's only when you have information about the cause of unhappiness that you begin to identify how to rectify the situation.

Career motivation and job satisfaction

Only 45% of people are experiencing job satisfaction according to a CBS News report in January 2010.

In an annual survey conducted by the Conference Board, a staggering 55% of Americans reported dissatisfaction with their jobs.

And the problem is getting worse - the 2008 survey found that only 49% of American workers had job satisfaction, dropping to 45% for the 2009 survey.

That's 1 in 2 people not enjoying their work - the worst result in the 22 years that the Conference Board has conducted the survey.

Why are people so unhappy? The reasons given include:

  • The job is not interesting
  • Income hasn't kept up with inflation
  • The soaring cost of health care is eating into disposable income
  • There are fewer opportunities to advance or progress a career

It would seem that there is a mismatch between the career values and life values of people - that is what is important to them in their work and in life, with what is actually happening to them.

Career motivation
How to choose a career

The purpose of this website is to help you in your job search. but before you begin that search you need to know what you're looking for - which means doing some serious career planning.

As you'll learn elsewhere on this site there are a number of important activities associated with this career planning process.

Looking closely at your career values is just one of the crucial career tests that you'll need to do.

So....hopefully you'll see the advantage in taking the time now to either:

  • Identify for the first time what you key values and beliefs are. Or....
  • Review and/or reaffirm existing values and beliefs for their validity today, and for your future - realise that your values and beliefs do change over time

You'll find that when you have really clarified what your career values are the answer to questions like "Which is the best career or job for me?" will become much clearer.

People who have been through this process of clarifying their career values report that they feel more confident and have a greater sense of control of their career and life.

Career motivation
Career values exercise

So.....what's really important to you? Here's a career values exercise that will help you find some of the answers - click here to download.

New! Comments

Has this helped you in your job search? What else would you like to see here about job search? Leave me a comment in the box below.
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