Motivation is what drives you through life. The desire to learn, your compassion for others, your desire to achieve a goal, etc. Motivation is the reason you take action, act and change, and therefore an important part of working life.
Motivation is closely related to passion, but there are differences. Motivation is an inner feeling that is the result of several factors, each of which has a positive effect on you. Passion is a more inexplicable drive. It's all the things you do for fun, because you like doing it and because you absolutely can't help it. Therefore, pursuing your passion can be highly motivating. For example, when a researcher is driven to find a cure for a disease. For others, it will be a bit much to ask that you are so passionate about your work that it comes before everything else. Fortunately, you can be motivated and thrive in your job without compromising on the rest of your life.
Why focus on motivation?
Motivation often equates to job satisfaction. When you go to work motivated, you will experience joy in your work, and this is connected to your general happiness in life. You can say that motivation arouses, creates and ensures a behavior towards a goal.
Companies also know that it is important to have motivated employees. This is because employees are more productive and deliver work of a higher quality than demotivated employees. It is therefore important to work with motivation and to know the motivation of your employees, because it benefits the company's results and helps to retain employees.
Internal and external motivation factors
You can divide motivation factors into the internal motivation factors, which are inherent in us, and the external motivation factors, which we are influenced by from the outside.
Internal motivators are your own strengths and desire that drive you. An example is autonomy, which is the need to direct oneself. You will often feel a strong urge for freedom and independence, and you like to take ownership and be responsible for your work. It can also be mastery, where you are driven to improve yourself and master a skill. You want to learn more and know it all, or you keep practicing until you can do it to perfection. Finally, it is an internal motivation factor to be driven by a purpose where you feel a connection to a greater cause. You want to make the world a better place, to work for patient safety or to help motivate employees to give their best.
The external motivational factors are also called reward-driven behaviour. In other words, we are driven by salary or the next bonus. That we are motivated by the recognition of our efforts or results. Or that we purposefully strive for the next title and to reach the top of the career ladder. Here it is not enough to be the most skilled, here you will also see the results of being the most skilled. Fortunately, many companies would rather work with a carrot as a reward than a stick as a punishment.
At first glance, it might sound like the internal factors are strong because you are self-driven and do it for a greater purpose. But many studies of human behavior show that the external factors influence the internal ones. You simply see that when a reward is given, internal motivation drops. All of a sudden, we do it for the sake of the reward instead of our own inner desire.
External rewards are still welcome, we just need to experience a balance between what we give and the reward we receive. And it must not be unfair, so that we find that, despite a great effort, we get a smaller bonus than someone else.
Find your motivation
Motivation is not a constant, but changes over time in line with your development and experiences. One method to understand your own driving forces can therefore be to draw your life course.
• When have you been motivated and felt job satisfaction? – Give the highlights a star.
• When has it been difficult and demotivating for you? - Give these a minus.
• Then you put more words on the situations. What motivated or demotivated you?
You will probably find that some of the themes repeat themselves. For example, that you have several times been very motivated by assignments where you could get in depth and use your professional knowledge. Or that it was really bad during a period with too little time, and a manager who couldn't prioritize what you should focus on.
The exercise can therefore help you to become sharp about what you need more of in your job. Everything that motivates you should go with it, while you should try to get rid of or away from what demotivates you. It can be a good idea to involve your manager in your insights, for example at MUS, when you talk about your work tasks. Just as you should use this in your job search to understand what motivates you in your next position.
Clarification of competences and motivation
Another exercise you can do to understand your motivation is a more methodical review of your experiences and what you have learned in the situation. Based on that, you describe the driving force behind it. In other words, what was it that motivated you in the situation in question. Finally, you evaluate the list to become clearer on the patterns that emerge in relation to what motivates you and gives you energy.
You can see an example here:
Pharmacy - counter
Professional communication, I am good at explaining compliance and discontinuation to the layman.
High because I found that I can talk to all types of people
I would like to use my communication skills even more, for example for more teaching.
Pharmacy - guidance (both pharmacologists and pharmacy students)
Professional sparring, where I both support them and give feedback
High. I am happy to help them by explaining.
I would like to be a permanent supervisor so that I can take care of the students we have at the pharmacy.
Pharmacy - quality assurance
Writing instructions, using my thoroughness to get all the details
OK, exciting task, but also heavy to work with, especially when the instructions are not used.
I would like to continue, but preferably with one more on the team, so we can discuss how it is best done.
As with the above method, you will probably find that there are recurring themes. This time it is focused on how you use your professional and personal skills, and when you keep it together with your degree of motivation, it gives you the opportunity to evaluate when you were particularly motivated. This can give you a hint that you should work towards getting even more of this in your job, for example by taking it up with your manager at MUS or by considering other career paths.
You can download the form here.
Get help from a career counsellor
You are welcome to book us for a career interview about your motivation, how to find it and what to do if you lack motivation in your work.
Contact the career guidance in Pharmadanmark. Write to: Karriere@pharmadanmark.dk