What motivates you? It's the kind of thing you might expect to hear in a job interview, and for good reason. Knowing how your own boat is rowed is key to understanding how to keep it moving.
If you don't know what your motivators are, you're setting yourself up for trouble when things aren't going well. It's easy to love your job on the good days - but what about when everything seems to be falling apart? How do you keep getting up in the morning and performing for your Executive, when you'd rather stay in bed?
The answer is knowing what motivates you. Here are three ways to find what that may be.
1. Think about times you've been incredibly motivated
We all have moments where our motivation seems to be unending. Think about what factors were at play. On first glance it can seem random - one day you were motivated, the next day not - but it's important to dig in a bit deeper than that.
Different jobs involve different things. Was there a job you had in the past where you jumped out bed everyday because getting to work was the most exciting thing you looked forward to? If so, you need to try and understand why.
2. Think about what gets you down
Coming from the other direction can also be a useful strategy. Working out what motivates you from a myriad of possibilities can be difficult, so searching for those things that dampen your motivation can help whittle down the possibilities.
3. Ask other people what motivates them
If finding your motivating force is proving difficult, you can always ask other people what they find motivating. While this in itself won't get you any insight on your own motivators, it can if you then reflect on what they've said and look for it in your own work. For example, if a friend says the thing that motivates them is expressing their creative spirit, keep an eye out for when you do that in your own job. When it happens, ask yourself "how did it feel?"
All of these methods point at the same truth: understanding your own motivators isn't as easy as opening a fortune cookie and reading what's printed. You need to experiment, and see how you respond to different things. Only then will you understand what gets your motivational juices flowing and what doesn't.