Before you decide which career path to choose, it is important you understand what makes you perform your best.
Think of a moment when you were super-energised, motivated and engaged.
- Where were you?
- What were you working on?
- Who else was there?
Try to think of some other examples. Can you see a pattern?
It is important to understand what motivates you so you can match what you want with the jobs out there.
Most people would think that money is the primary motivator; everybody wants to have a bigger salary and great benefits. The truth though is different. Although money is important and people want to earn enough to have a comfortable life, there are many other reasons that push our performance to the peak.
- Recognition: hearing others telling you that you are doing a good job – especially by those who matter to you
- Development: having opportunities to learn new things and develop new skills
- Competition: being able to compete with others and have the chance to outperform them
- Belonging: being a member of a team and feeling a real bonding with the group
- Security: feeling that you and your family are safe and they are not at risk in any significant way
- Purpose: making a contribution to a bigger cause that benefits other groups or the society as a whole
- Autonomy: being free to do things the way you want
Which of the above motivators are important for you?
You will find out that probably there is more than one thing that motivates you!
Note that the importance of these motivators will change at different stages of your life e.g. security maybe not very important for you now but it might become more important when you have your own family.
Hence, when choosing a career, you need to consider not only what motivates you now but also what might motivate you in the future. You will be better off to follow a path that creates the optimal environment for you to perform at your best.
Korina Karampela is the founder of b4iapply, author of 2 books, coach and speaker. She has worked as senior pharmaceutical executive for 12 years and has an MBA from MIT Sloan. Her blog b4iapply is recommended by The Guardian for professional development.