Identifying what motivates you in your job is key to achieving your goals.

Some mornings we wake up raring to go, others it takes everything we have to drag ourselves out of bed.

It’s perfectly normal for our motivation levels to fluctuate because so many things can affect them. A bad night’s sleep, a meeting you’ve been dreading or a project that’s stressing you out are all great examples of the types of things that can cause our motivation to dwindle. On the other hand, a new team member who’s a great fit, a promotion or an exciting new project can all help boost our motivation levels.

While there are always going to be things going on within the business which are going to affect your productivity, it’s important to identify your personal motivators. These are the needs, desires and wants you require from your job in order to drive you and help you achieve your goals.

Why is it important to identify my motivators?

Knowing what motivates you enables you to match what you want with a job. For some people it can be simple – they’re driven by money. In which case you’re probably less bothered about a company’s values and culture. Other people need to feel part of a community however and would therefore prefer to work for an organisation which organises lots of team days out and promotes inclusivity.

It’s also important to consider that your motivators are likely to change throughout the years. In our 20s we’re more likely to be motivated by opportunities to learn and develop whereas in our 30s and 40s, we tend to want more independence and flexibility when it comes to our work/life balance.

How do I identify what motivates me?

One method is to simply think about the times you’ve been highly motivated and the times when you’ve been very unproductive. If you’ve had a job you’ve loved for example – did they give you lots of freedom, learning opportunities or perhaps you had great colleagues? Thinking about the jobs you’ve been really unhappy in – did you struggle to get on with your boss, was the workload too heavy or maybe the commute was too much to handle?

If you’re trying to figure out what motivates and demotivates you in your current role, keep a diary and make a note of the things which make you feel good and then not so good throughout the week. We often put things down to ‘it was just a bad day’ but these things are usually strongly linked to our motivators.

If you’re looking for a new role, create a list of your motivators and rank them in order of priority so you know exactly what you’re looking for. It could be anything from having a sense of freedom, taking on challenges and working with people you trust and respect to feeling valued, being able to express your creativity or having variety.

If you’re struggling to identify what motivates you at work, please get in touch with Alpha about our career coaching services. We offer psychometric testing which is an effective way of identifying what drives you as well as career counselling which taps into your beliefs, motivations and interests.