In my posting of part one, I looked briefly at some of the potential symptoms and causes that could be behind a drop in motivation at work, and in this part I would like to look at some of the ways you may be able to bounce back.
If you do feel that you are currently missing that motivation in your career, the first question you need to ask yourself is whether you desire to change your motivational status. Are you content to just drudge through each day, grumbling and complaining and just working for that next paycheck? Chances are, with a less than positive attitude, and lowered motivation, the type and amount of work you produce will be less than top notch. This could lead to even more actions, like being passed over at work, or ignored for any kind of work honors, raises, etc. which then of course could lead to even further blows against your motivation.
So, if you decide it is time to pump up the motivation, let’s take a look at some tips to help get you going.
Try this simple exercise by taking a sheet of paper and drawing a horizontal line dividing the page. This will function as sort of a timeline, where you can divide the line into smaller areas and begin to plot significant moments in your life and career. Place the positive ones above the line, and the less than positives one below the line. Depending on the topic, maybe even write a few notes reminding you of the key elements of the event. Once you are done, stand back and view it as an overview, focusing on the high points. Gain energy from the high points, and use them to motivate you to find ways to leverage those high points and reproduce more positive moments.
The above exercise is a good start to looking at yourself and reflecting on areas that may help you better understand yourself, gaining insight on your strengths and weaknesses. Use this information to get a better focus on a positive direction that will harness the power of your high points and skills, and allow you to use your strengths to improve your career motivation.
Also, be sure to take a hard look at the not so positive events on your line, and look for lessons you can learn from those times. Evaluate them as a group and see if there is a theme or relation between them. Is there something in particular that you do that leads to these events? Is it something you can learn from and change in the future to avoid doing similar acts again? What can you draw from these less than positive times, which can be used to motivate your career instead?
Most people have a certain level of fear that resides in what they do, and that can be a real enemy to our motivation. We fear scrutiny, rejection, failure, or loss. Examine yourself and see what some of your greatest fears are. Is that fear directly related to your lack of career motivation? Begin to find ways, small steps, that can begin to overcome those fears, and challenge yourself to accomplish them, and slowly begin to build confidence and fight the fears that have been holding you back.
Re-educate yourself, and reinvigorate your mind. As they say, “garbage in, garbage out,” and if you just go through the day regurgitating the same things time and time again, maybe it is time to throw some new material into the mix. I can personally attest to this in my career. As a web designer, my daily job had become pretty mundane, doing the same thing day after day. The excitement and artistic aspects of it were all but gone. I grabbed a recent book on web design and began reading and applying new techniques and advanced features that I had either never known, or long gotten out of the habit of using. So, do something similar for your career. Begin reading related material, career books, websites, ezines, etc. Read, reflect, and build new dreams for your career. Gain new knowledge and allow it to open up new possibilities in your mind. Begin to break out of the mundane procedures in the daily career, and refresh your mind with new areas of career growth. Reading has a way of stimulating the mind and will do wonders for your career motivation.
Through all of this, it is important to work on having a more positive attitude – this will lead to more motivation. Do not let things drag you down, but seek to overcome fears and challenges, and apply new methods to your daily work to keep things fresher and to assist in “amping up” your motivation factor.