When it comes to career motivation, each person is unique and needs different things in their job to feel satisfied, valued, and fulfilled. For some, that might be money, fame, power, social interaction or creative expression. For others, it could be intellectual challenge, helping others, independence, or something else. By understanding your career motivations, you can plan a more fulfilling and productive career and create an environment in which you and thrive and advance.
Psychology Today offers a very insightful online test that will help you nail down your true motivators. After finishing the test, you will receive a list of your strengths and the areas you will need to work on. You will then have the option to purchase the full results with score breakdown, detailed interpretation, and advice (but the basic results are quite valuable on their own).
Determining your own motivating forces is quite useful, but professionals who manage others can also benefit greatly by learning what motivates each individual employee, as motivation is most definitely not a “one size fits all” proposition. At one point in my career, I was leading a team of four young professionals who were very similarly educated and compensated, but when it came to motivation, they were very unique. One got fired up by motivational music, one by engraved plaques on the wall, one by extra vacation time, and one by joining a local community service club that met during work hours. Of course they all were happy to receive cash motivation as well, but once I finally figured out what made them tick individually (and wised up to the fact that it was worth my time to do so), we made much greater progress as a team.
So of course I must ask, when it comes to your career, what motivates you?