What motivates you in your job?

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Very little motivates me in my day job other than the fact that if i don't turn up, i won't be able to pay the rent.

In my paid hobby, it's feedback from people who like what i'm doing.

Une semaine de Bunty (ShariVari), Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

Pretty sure money's going to win this.

Now, after that, it's the hours. Not having to work on Saturdays anymore makes me feel like I've won the lottery sometimes.

pplains, Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

God I only wish it were "developing new ideas." I would like a problem-solving job, please, where I just think and test solutions for things.

how did I get here? why am I in the whiskey aisle? this is all so (Laurel), Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

honestly i have no idea

call all destroyer, Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

the motivation must come from somewhere because i don't hate my job and do it every day with minimal complaining but damned if i can place it

call all destroyer, Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

where is "i only work hard so people don't find out that i don't work hard"

40oz of tears (Jordan), Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

Sorry I could not think of every single motivational factor.

Jeff, Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

revenge.

cb, Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

where is SOCIAL JUSTICE on that list

the late great, Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

well i guess it's "Doing meaningful work"

the late great, Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

I would like to know this because then maybe I could find a job which offers the same motivation and fewer of the demotivators

"Not having to work long hours" is def a good thing about my job, or so I tell myself when I think of the people who are actually good at what I do and earn a lot more than me but work a lot more hours than me, but not really a "motivation" as such.

"Promotion/climbing the ladder" is actively terrifying to me, which is too bad because the whole work structure seems to be revolve around the idea that everyone would like to become management and you can make them do whatever shitty things you like by dangling the promise of "hey guys! you can be bumped up to the next pay grade and manage the team!", but the very thought of needing to manage people makes me want to crawl back into bed forever, so no pay rises for me

instant coffee happening between us (a passing spacecadet), Thursday, 19 April 2012 16:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

Money, followed by "Not having to work long hours" bcz this was not the case in the 8 years I worked in advertising and homicidal thoughts occurred very frequently.

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 19 April 2012 16:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

Money, responsibility, creativity but the first two keep trumping that tiny cowed voice.

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 April 2012 16:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

revenge.

This too. I want to stay long enough to see the bodies of my enemies float down the river.

Une semaine de Bunty (ShariVari), Thursday, 19 April 2012 17:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

I guess a combination of these. I guess my chief motivation would have to be money, otherwise I would surely be at home working on my own projects instead. I'm fortunate (or not) that my current job draws on a lot of the skills and creativity I use for my own projects, which means I can grow and learn on the job but also means that I am pretty drained when it comes to my own studio time. I also have a super flexible working environment which means I kind of dictate my own hours and don't really have a boss, even though I am very much part of a team, which is a pretty great mix, although dangerous for those moments when you are really looking for guidance and perspective. My job is also pretty crazy, with no day the same, etc. which is mostly great as long as I have the stamina for it. On good days, I feel like I have one of the best working arrangements in the world and on bad days, I wish I had a job where I could clock in, stare at spreadsheets all day, maybe take one short meeting and then head home at 5 to be in my studio. But I've done that (a lot) and I found that the lack of spontaneity is actually kind of draining rather than being something in which I can conserve energy for my own time.

Memorial Highway (admrl), Thursday, 19 April 2012 17:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think with money a given, I'd go for "Developing new ideas/creating" or "Working on new things/projects"

Memorial Highway (admrl), Thursday, 19 April 2012 17:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

When I first became a supervisor/manager the 1st thing that shocked me was that my employees don't share the same motivations I do. In hindsight, I totally should have realized that and feel dumb for not. Not everyone wants to be promoted. Some people just want to come to work, stay busy and do their job, then go home and not have to worry about it. And they are completely happy with that.

Jeff, Thursday, 19 April 2012 17:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

I do have to say that this is the first genuinely "creative" job I have had, and I find the pressure of constantly having to generate ideas, etc. way more taxing than other types of work that I have done. That may well be a function of being relatively junior in those situations, however.

Memorial Highway (admrl), Thursday, 19 April 2012 17:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

Some people just want to come to work, stay busy and do their job, then go home and not have to worry about it.

^meeeeeeeeeee

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 19 April 2012 17:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

The thought of retirement.

Aimless, Thursday, 19 April 2012 17:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

To answer my own poll, my main motivation is working on new things/projects. I really like my job. It's challenging, I'm always busy, and I'm given a lot of freedom of how I structure my day. I love when I start new projects and going through the brainstorming/creative process of how to solve a problem and make the business run more efficiently. I don't go to work and do the same thing every day and I'm always working on multiple projects throughout the day.

Second is money. It just makes everything easier. I like buying things.

Third is probably a combination of many, but mainly being able to contribute to the organization. People listen to my ideas and my advice is sought on decisions that effect the entire IT department. It's gratifying to be a part of this process for a such a large organization.

It hasn't always been this way, I pretty much hated my job when I started because I began on the lowest rungs of the department, doing a thankless job. However I was given many opportunities to move up and it has just improved steadily over the last 7 years.

Jeff, Friday, 20 April 2012 12:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

can't find the "fear of being homeless" option

aboulia banks (Noodle Vague), Friday, 20 April 2012 12:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

if my job had all of these things, but i didn't earn a paycheck, i wouldn't (and couldn't afford to) work there.
if i no longer needed to earn a paycheck, i would no longer work at my job.
so even if i'd like to believe that other things motivate me in my job (and some of these things might motivate me to work harder than just the promise of money would), the only honest answer here is money.

Mordy, Friday, 20 April 2012 13:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

Money, really liking the people I work with, and really believing in the institution I work for.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Friday, 20 April 2012 13:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

Obv everyone goes to work for the money. At stupid jobs I have had in the past like call centers what really kept my going was sympathetic managers who would praise my work. Those jobs are shitty as hell and having a boss that tries to recognize you makes a big difference.

does Red Stripe work like poppers? (Abbbottt), Friday, 20 April 2012 14:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

I ****love**** praise though.

does Red Stripe work like poppers? (Abbbottt), Friday, 20 April 2012 14:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yes, love a bit of professional affirmation.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Friday, 20 April 2012 14:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Pretending for the moment that I haven't left the job I did for years, it was simply about 'money'. Once I realized that every other motivator on that list was and always would be moot (on top of the fact that the workplace was the most psychically poisonous environment I'd ever experienced) I knew I had to beat feet, (just barely) decent paycheck or no.

Potty Problems (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 20 April 2012 15:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

Besides money, I enjoy writing in and of itself, and it's fun working with artists, writers, and programmers. There's also this need to become perfect at what I do, and a drive to "rise to the top" through ability and effort.

Spectrum, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

Getting good feedback on a job well done

I mean, money motivates me to work in general, but where I work now, there are no merit increases, just cost of living/longevity raises. So money doesn't motivate me to do a good job here. In fact, there is really no motivation to do good work here. There is no opportunity for advancement and job security is entirely a function of political clout so there's no need to encourage good work or loyalty. The only reason why I don't slack completely is that I also love praise, but mostly, since praise is not particularly forthcoming here either, because I have a reputation among my coworkers for being smart and good at my job. Lots of people with this same job do not have this reputation. So even though those people have political patrons and can half-ass their way through their jobs until they collect a pension, I at least am known for being one of the best at my job (if not the actual best).

Which given the competition is actually pretty meaningless, but I need something to get me out of bed in the morning and if that has to be feeling smugly superior, than I'll take it.

Polly biscuit face (carl agatha), Friday, 20 April 2012 15:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

My boss praises my work regularly, and every paycheck is accompanied by a handwritten note on a variation of "thanks for everything you do and for making me look good!" But it's not enough anymore.

improvised explosive advice (WmC), Friday, 20 April 2012 16:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

the whip

Lamp, Friday, 20 April 2012 16:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

fear

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 20 April 2012 16:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, the tipping point at my job was when my boss went from being my biggest cheerleader to having some sort of psychotic episode wherein he was convinced that I was just another of the many people in our workplace who had it in for him.

Potty Problems (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 20 April 2012 16:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

Helping kids, pleasing parents, teaching things, forming relationships, keeping the community happy and entertained, buying books, learning things, practicing Spanish, laughing, having fun. The most important thing though is probably building relationships with kids.

I guess this is more what I like about my job than what motivates me. Maybe I feel like a lot of people depend on me--my coworkers, and more importantly the community...so maybe some false sense of indispensability? I work for the government, so in that sense I think you need to draw on your own internal motivation. There's little reward system in place...other than a somewhat screwed job security (should be my 3rd year of receiving a provisional layoff notice. I'm not really an "external praise" kind of person. So while most people seem to think I'm very good at my job, I think they are perhaps delusional.

Virginia Plain, Friday, 20 April 2012 17:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

money

the fact that I have a fair amount of freedom and am not micromanaged

i hate p much everything else about my job

wolf kabob (ENBB), Friday, 20 April 2012 18:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 2 May 2012 00:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Thursday, 3 May 2012 00:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

$$$

Jeff, Thursday, 3 May 2012 00:30 (1 year ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

I've been offered an interview at a rival company. The package is a good third more than my current wage, the position more senior and more interesting, but... on an ethical level I pretty much despise the firm. Would you work for a company whose ethics you don't agree with, even if the actual work you do doesn't directly contribute to this?

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Thursday, 26 July 2012 13:53 (1 year ago) Permalink

No.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 26 July 2012 13:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

But I'm lucky.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 26 July 2012 13:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

I would.

pandemic, Thursday, 26 July 2012 13:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

I would too. Unless it is like the nazi party or something. Although I heard their benefits are great.

Jeff, Thursday, 26 July 2012 13:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

Oh my fucking god, no.

I spent nearly three years of my life working for a company I thought was ethically and morally reprehensible. It poisoned me slowly and insidiously. It seeped into me, it destroyed my self belief and my self confidence in every way. It made me constantly angry and that anger turned in on me. It doesn't matter if you are the person actually holding the instrument that does the damage. Just being around that kind of atmosphere, around people who either believe or are willing to accommodate those goals, it made me miserable. It took a major scandal to make me quit, and though that was the *best* decision I ever made in my life, I'm still untangling the damage I did myself staying there that long.

So my advice is, do not do it. The money is not worth it. I took that job because I was unemployed, broke and desperate. You don't even have that excuse. Don't do it.

I want to smother him in electronic butter. (White Chocolate Cheesecake), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

xposts Actually it's just under twice as much pay as before... and I need money. I'm not exactly enamoured with my current line of work anyway, but I like the company I work for which is why I've stayed here without much chance of a step up. The logical step would be a career change, but this will take time and effort.

Part of me feels as though quibbling over ethical details is ludicrous and that I should be looking out for myself as I've always been poor and have never had the opportunity to earn close to this much. It also fits into my skillset and would be an opportunity to improve on it a great deal (it would be more interesting as well). However the other side of me asks whether I should be pursuing a career with a company I do not like in a job my heart does not care for (at this stage, but who knows cos it might end up being more interesting with these guys?).

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

Depends on the details I guess, but ethical concerns are not quibbles.

I want to smother him in electronic butter. (White Chocolate Cheesecake), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

Bumping up your salary and position like that? I say go for it. If the ethical issues become too much, leave after a couple years and you'll have more experience and be able to ask for a higher salary in yr. next job.

how's life, Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

It depends on the industry, too, I suppose. But seriously. There are things where it is worth making a stand and saying "I do not want to contribute to this." I guess the Categorical Imperative doesn't stand up in this case because if you don't take the job, someone else will. But if you can't think what it will do to the world, think what it will do to you. Some things don't come out in the wash.

I want to smother him in electronic butter. (White Chocolate Cheesecake), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:09 (1 year ago) Permalink

It's media, so it's not exactly the Nazi party or human rights abuse. Plenty of people I work with would disagree with my current organisation's approach (conscious I'm probably giving a fair bit away right now), and apart from some light joshing/banter in the office, it's not like they're completely unhappy there... I guess it can't hurt to attend an interview and see what it's like.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:20 (1 year ago) Permalink

It would depend for me, too. I'm actively trying to find a new job, which includes applying for positions at law firms that represent employers in their labor and employment law practice. I don't think representing employers is unethical (or at least it doesn't have to be), but it's certainly not where my heart and my ideology and my politics lie.

I guess I'd probably draw the line at companies/orgs that I think are directly harming people - for-profit prisons, weapons manufactures, the Republican party, coal companies, stuff like that. Like, I would take an in-house counsel position at McDonald's, but I wouldn't work for a firm that represented insurance companies that are trying to avoid paying claims.

WCC makes some really good points, particularly the bit about what it might do to you. I work for a notoriously corrupt local government and it grinds me down, and that's part of why I am looking for a new job. Again, I think it depends on the details and what it is that is unethical about the company. Do they do things that go against your politics? Are they actively hurting people with their products or practices? Are they actually a bunch of crooks?

ms. cookie (carl agatha), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:20 (1 year ago) Permalink

Media, huh? Hmmm... I think I would probably be unable to handle working for a certain network named after a pointy-eared forest mammal, or any company with a right-wing agenda under the "companies that are directly harming people" rule.

ms. cookie (carl agatha), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:22 (1 year ago) Permalink

What, do you quit the Grauniad to go and work for the Daily Fail? I wouldn't but I guess it's not quite the same as my previous employer's badness.

x-posts to CA

I want to smother him in electronic butter. (White Chocolate Cheesecake), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:23 (1 year ago) Permalink

But yeah this:

I think I would probably be unable to handle working for a certain network named after a pointy-eared forest mammal, or any company with a right-wing agenda under the "companies that are directly harming people" rule

kinda covers it for me.

But you can work within a corrupt industry in a non-corrupt role. It's complicated.

I want to smother him in electronic butter. (White Chocolate Cheesecake), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

Sorry, I was talking to DL, but CA was inbetween and I wanted to respond to her separately, if that wasn't clear.

I want to smother him in electronic butter. (White Chocolate Cheesecake), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

I got you!

ms. cookie (carl agatha), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

Do they do things that go against your politics?
Yes

Are they actively hurting people with their products or practices?
In some ways.

Are they actually a bunch of crooks?
TBC.

Right, enough hints.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:29 (1 year ago) Permalink

The role is totally non-corrupt though. Couldn't be further from the bullshit.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:30 (1 year ago) Permalink

Named after a large blue thing that hovers above all our heads?

I want to smother him in electronic butter. (White Chocolate Cheesecake), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

The more effectively I do everything the less I have to converse with others, the more music I can listen to, the sooner I can leave, the more money I may eventually earn.

Know how Roo feel (LocalGarda), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

Btw there are so few companies whose ethics I believe in

Know how Roo feel (LocalGarda), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

There's kind of a difference between "disagree with their ethics" and "what this company does actively works against everything I find important." Where on that scale you find comfortable is always going to vary, and be a question of degree, but there is a point over which it can and will make you miserable.

I want to smother him in electronic butter. (White Chocolate Cheesecake), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah i can see how that'd be true.

i think to an extent any compromise like that causes a little misery, but most people i know probably feel they are making such a compromise to some extent.

Know how Roo feel (LocalGarda), Thursday, 26 July 2012 14:44 (1 year ago) Permalink


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