motivationMany people have progressed through their education and early career without giving much thought to career direction. But at one point they may ask: How will I spend the rest of my life and what can I do to become or remain successful and happy? Am I headed in the right direction? The answers to these questions are personal and individual.


Are you headed in the right direction? Motivation is Key to YOUR Career Success.
One test to determine if you are headed in the best direction for yourself is to check the level of your motivation for your own work. While everyone may have a different definition for ‘motivation’ almost everyone knows if they are motivated or not. By motivation I am referring to a genuine excitement or energy associated with the work you do regardless about the amount of money or fame associated with the work. If you are unmotivated or stagnant it might be time for a change.

I believe that your motivation is the key to your career success. That motivation provides the fuel for you to sharpen your skills and provide the intelligence to apply those skills to overall market success and satisfaction. Without motivation you will lose control of your own destiny.

Wilfred A. Peterson

Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.

Abraham Lincoln

Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.

George S. Patton

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.

The great thing about quotes like these is that almost everyone who has experienced some passion or motivation in their lives can relate to their meaning instantly. For example, take the athlete. Athletic success is a combination of winning and attitude. Most athletes know that success is a process and requires the refinement of their skills, intelligence and motivations. The motivation to compete provides the fuel for the hard work, skill refinement and the intelligence to apply everything properly. The motivation drives the focus and helps recover from setbacks of which there will be many. The athlete who is not motivated will rarely rise to the top of her game.

Motivation is the key to success in the workplace too. It provides the fuel for hard work, skill refinement and the intelligence to apply everything properly. But business success is more nebulous than for the athlete. Athletic events are well-defined and controlled by rules, a time clock and a scoring system. A business person’s career may stretch for many years, job and skill changes and the scorekeeping is harder to identify than for the athlete. In the end, career success might only be defined by one’s own personal criteria.

If motivation is so important how do you get it and how do you keep it at a high level? How do you know what it is you love to do and can you earn a living from it? The answer to these two questions can be had through introspection, assessments, and maybe a little help from a coach (mentor).

I suppose that unmotivated people may exist but it is possible that they just haven’t found their niche yet. What is it that motivates you? Identify the kinds of work that you are attracted to and you’ll do a better job. Align your motivation with your job responsibilities and you will be more successful.

A Tool to help you identify and preserve your motivation

The Gabriel Institute’s Teamability tool has been designed to predict how people will perform on teams but can also be used to help you identify one of 10 different Roles you might play on a team or in an organization. If your work is within your Role it is likely that you have good motivation. If your work is in a Role different than your Role you will probably be less motivated than in the former. However such things as money, fame, convenience, location etc. can and do influence the satisfaction for the job. But Role is key to understanding if you are likely to be satisfied with the kind of work you do. The tool defines Role as “as a person’s attraction to one of 10 specific organizational needs”. The Roles are listed below.

10 Role Types for every organization (and every person)

Founder – envisioning the future
Vision Mover – from vision to strategy
Vision Former – big picture guidance
Action Mover – getting it done
Action Former – making detailed schedules
Explore – searching for treasure
Watchdog – tending to needs
Curator – preserving knowledge
Conductor – solving tought problems
Communicator – creating community

Knowing what Role(s) you are best suited for can help guide you to choosing directions that are in alignment with your job responsibilities. Doing so will help make you more productive and satisfied. When looking for a job or career direction look for opportunities where the responsibilities of the job are in alignment with your Role and you will likely maintain a positive level of motivation. There is much more to the Teamability tool than just determining your Role but this in of itself can help you make choices to maximize your motivation. If you feel that your career is at a standstill maybe it is time for a motivation check. The TGI Teamability tool can help.


Author: Rick Zabor

Engineer / Scientist / Researcher turned Recruiter in 1987. Interested in the best way to do things and mixing with people who have passions for life. Writes on topics important to building winning teams and personal growth and accomplishment. Connect with me on Linkedin. Lives in Atlanta, GA.