Have you ever thought about what motivates you? What gets—and keeps—you going? When we know WHY we do something, we can use that information to accomplish more. Knowing what motivates us will help us achieve our goals, both personal and professional.
No matter what we do for a living, or where we do it, the things that motivate us to work can probably be found on the following list. Many of us believe that the only reason we work is to earn money. Although there is no question that money, or what it buys (rent, food, etc.), is a prime motivator, money alone does not create the sense of fulfillment and accomplishment that many of us are seeking.
According to LIMRA International, a research association, it's a good idea to prioritize the following motivators for yourself. Once you've identified what works for you, share it with your boss. If you are the boss, ask your employees to prioritize their motivators. Whether you're the boss, the employee, or it's just you (a work-at-home mom or a solopreneur), this is important information for you to know.
The freedom to run your business activities as you wish; the opportunity to "be your own boss”
- Do you ever feel restricted?
- Do you feel overcome by rules and red tape?
- Do you often feel in disagreement with superiors?
The rewards you get for doing a job well, such as being singled out in a publication or speech.
- How important is winning to you?
- How do you feel when others receive recognition?
- Do you go out of your way to win awards?
The feeling that you get from successfully accomplishing a job, overcoming obstacles and obtaining goals
- Is your performance relative to your effort?
- How do you feel when you have completed a task?
- What kind of goals do you set for yourself?
The amount of time that you have free to use as you wish, and the degree of enjoyment that you get from this time
- Do you find yourself neglecting things?
- Have you postponed a desired activity?
- Do you really enjoy your leisure me?
The sense of control that you believe you have over your destiny and the destiny of others; your ability to influence or direct the behavior of others
- Do you feel that you have control over your destiny?
- Do people tend to lean on you, ask for your approval?
- Do you find yourself doing things you'd rather not do?
The respect accorded you by your peers and by business or community associates; how others feel you compare with your peers
- Is prestige important to you?
- Do others tend to hold you in esteem?
- Do you find yourself performing to gain esteem?
The amount of personal financial income provided by your job
- Are you proud of what you earn?
- Do you tend to talk about money or how you spend, save, or invest it?
The constant feeling or need to show continuing improvement in your job performance
- Do you feel guilty about not exerting enough effort?
- Do you continually feel that you must do more?
- Do you require continual motivation from superiors?
Your feeling of self-worth; how you feel you measure up to your peers
- Are you confident that you do as well as you can?
- Do you feel guilty about poor performance?
- Are you satisfied with your performance?
The amount and quality of family activities in which you engage
- Do you spend enough time with your family?
- Is the time you do spend meaningful?
- Do family members talk about the time you spend with them?
The certainty that you feel of maintaining your position; the feeling that tomorrow will be at least as good as today
- Is job security important to you?
- Are you afraid to try something new?
- Do you do things that tend to secure your job?
The feeling of growing as an individual or becoming more competent, more efficient—a better person
- Do you think that you have grown over the past year?
- Do you do specific things that result in improvement?
- Do you have plans for doing more?
Now that you've prioritized this list, you should have a clearer idea of what motivates you at work. It's not just money, is it?
About the Author
Louise Morganti Kaelin is a Life Success Coach who partners with individuals who are READY (to live their best life), WILLING (to explore all options) and ABLE (to accept total support). Visit her website at www.touchpointcoaching.com. Take the Coaching Challenge to find out if you’re ready to go to the next level.