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  • Writer's pictureLori A. Jazvac, MRW

How to Remain Motivated at Work: Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Updated: Feb 15, 2020

Each year in mid-February we are reminded about spreading joy, peace, and love to those around us.

But what people don't always talk about is the flip side to this day -- the loneliness or alienation that people feel from not only themselves, but others around them. This loneliness often replaces the passion that people feel for their work.

As more jobs are being taken over by automation, people tend to experience alienation. There is a greater focus of maintaining online communications rather than face-to-face, which limit engagement and diminishes relationship building. Accelerating the bottom line in pressure-filled work environment rather than morale, team collaboration, and ethics and integrity become the heart of the company culture even though the latter is stated in many policy manuals.

These days, the concern seems to be on continuous "doing" to drive efficient production rather than on "being". We are driven to constantly work and prove ourselves with concrete results. When the results are not as high as intended or production declines along with profit, then low morale and lethargy set in. Relationships are put on the backburner while competition surges. There is a belief that sets in that often we are only as good as the results we produce, which can derail self-esteem.

It's time to change the paradigm. It starts from a premise of self-acceptance and self-love, doing your best, while being compassionate with yourself and others.
It's essential to remember the "why" of what you are doing and whom you are serving. Trust that things are working out for the highest good and they will improve when you make that choice.

Studies show that worker engagement levels are declining. Each year more people are ready to leave their jobs for more engaging environments that offer growth opportunities and better perks. This enforces employers to revamp their retention strategy and corporate culture enhancement strategy.

Randstad US conducted a survey that uncovered the reasons why people quit. More than double felt their companies view profits or revenue as more important than how people are treated. Fifty-eight per cent said their companies failed to currently offer enough growth opportunities for them to stay longer. Sixty-nine per cent reported they would be more satisfied if their employers better leveraged their skills and abilities. Then there were sixty per cent who were not in favour of their direct supervisors. And fifty-seven per cent said they needed to leave their current companies to elevate their careers to the next level.

Consider these questions:

💡 When was the last time you remembered feeling truly passionate about your work?

💡 Are you excited by your organizational culture and motivated each day to tackle new challenges with zest and enthusiasm?

💡 Are you counting the hours until lunch or until 5 pm when you can switch gears?

💡 Do you feel you are truly leveraging your skills and full potential at work?

💡 Do find yourself dragging your heels and wondering when the excitement will be reignited for your career growth?

If you answered with a negative response to any of the above questions, then you may need to assess whether it is in fact your career that you need to change or just a part of your job or the environment. Sometimes, the solution is not about quitting the role or leaving the company or environment for a seemingly better one, (to only repeat the cycle!), but rather firstly being aware and conducting your due diligence.

You need to first determine and assess what is the heart of the matter or the problem in order to move forward with the right decision.

Do you need to redefine your purpose? What is the problem that you want to solve? What drives your need to do this work in the first place? This may be the orienting compass to get you back to becoming engaged with your work and team.

Is the way you work impacting your productivity? Perhaps it is time to change your method or way of working. It could be even linked to ergonomics -- what if your chair is not ergonomically friendly or the lighting in your office is making it hard to focus? Making those minor adjustments can optimize efficiency in order to execute those complex projects.

Are you having difficulties with your team? Could you find a better way to collaborate and communicate that involves leveraging common ground and pooling strengths of key stakeholders to achieve a unified mission?

Are you approaching your work with a sense of anxiety or worry about your future?

It could mean changing those subconscious beliefs that you've harboured for long.

Motivation can be linked to the type of tasks that you actually do in the day that makes a difference. Often, just changing one thing can shift more than you think, which will breed a higher level of career satisfaction and motivate you to take on bigger goals.

What can you do to keep your motivation at work high and make your professional life more meaningful each day?

1. Vary your routine.

If you are so used to doing your work in a set routine, perhaps look at changing your routine a bit to do the least interesting tasks first then progress onto the most interesting ones if possible (or vice versa!). Leverage your peak hours. Some people work best during certain hours of the day or evening, so use this knowledge to your advantage. Take a short break when needed after an hour or so or even 25 minutes while working on a long project. Know what works for you.

2. Verify your purpose.

This is a great time to remind yourself of your "why" for doing your job and even each task and see how it is tied to the larger goals of the organization. For example, if you know that doing those trivial tasks are linked to increasing customer satisfaction or helping others achieve their goals, then this will raise your motivation.

3. Validate your value and accomplishments.

Be proud of your unique value. Be your authentic self! Embrace your unique strengths. It starts with self-appreciation which builds self-esteem and self-efficacy.

Keeping track of your milestones on a daily or weekly basis will revitalize your energy and drive to achieve higher goals. This exercise will help you to see the results accomplished. By qualifying, but also quantifying your accomplishments with numbers, you will see how much impact you have made personally, but also to the team and organization. When it's time for the performance review, you will feel more than prepared to showcase your accomplishments and confidently ask for that raise!

4. Vocalize your vision and verify your core values.

If you identify a certain need within the organization or department or see a need for change, address this with your manager or team. Leading an exciting project, sharing ideas, or closing a much needed gap in service or productivity will motivate not only you but your team and contribute to the bottom line. Take a few minutes out of your day to acknowledge your coworkers, thank them for their support, show compassion, and inspire your team members to achieve higher goals. Be committed to mastering new skills or being part of a committee to drive change.

5. Vent for a bit, but stay motivated with visualization techniques, and revamp your work life with a whole new view!

💡 Keep your feelings logged in a journal so you can see what is really going on, what strategies are working, what does not work, and the reasons why.

💡 How do you want to be different? You may not be able to change the co-worker's attitude in the next cubicle, but you can certainly change how you respond and deal with the coworker and your environment. Positivity spreads, so keep shining your light!

💡 What is the heart of the matter? What are you feeling? Sometimes it is that "old tape" that keeps repeating itself in your subconscious that you need to simply give the silent nod, then let it go and start fresh! Tomorrow is a new day so take charge!

💡 Do you spot any patterns that are hindering your work life? How can you turn this around to maximize your career growth and satisfaction? 💡 What areas need improvement or change?

💡 What are some of your best strategies used to overcome challenges into opportunities? Remember, you are free to think new thoughts, make new choices, access creative inner resources, and unleash an array of ideas and options. You can start by changing your mindset and perception about yourself and your career, even your work environment. The choice is up to you!

Seeking career guidance or support? Please contact Lori at 905.730.2374 or email

Lori Jazvac is an award-winning Master Resume Writer/Certified Career Transition Coach and Certified Hidden Job Market Coach. Lori is the Founder of Creative Horizons Communications, a trusted holistic career services provider in Halton serving jobseekers globally to embrace their next career milestone.

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