Does Your Career Match Your Calling?

What does your average workday look like? Does it fulfill your professional ambitions? Understanding and embracing why you work can help you motivate yourself. Not sure what your career motivation is? Answer these three questions to help.

  1. Your day was a success if you _____________.

    1. Landed a new client or received a compliment from your co-worker or boss
    2. Checked something off your to-do list
    3. Met someone new at the coffee shop that morning
  2. What is your greatest professional skill?

    1. Networking ability
    2. Organization skills
    3. Willingness to help others
  3. Your career goal is to _____________.

    1. Earn a higher paycheck
    2. Solve problems and complete tasks
    3. Make a difference in people’s lives

If you answered mostly “A,” then you most likely are motivated by compensation. These types of professionals align their success with more physical rewards, such as paychecks and promotions. Salespeople, whose income is typically tied directly to their performance, fall into this category. If this describes you, you’ll thrive in an environment in which your hard work will never go unrewarded.

If your answers aligned with option “B,” then you may be an internally motivated professional. These people don’t rely on paychecks or promotions to meet deadlines or tackle daily tasks. They work because they feel driven to do so by an intangible force. These people are considered more “Type A” personalities, possessing high levels of organization and attention to detail. If you fall into this category, you’ll likely succeed in an independent environment, where you can focus clearly on yourself and your own goals.

If you mostly chose option “C,” then you could be motivated by your community. Community-minded people work in service of those around them, with a strong desire to leave things better than they found them. They volunteer at a local food pantry or spend time improving their community. These people enjoy a workplace that emphasizes community engagement and professional success equally.

Although everyone may have their own, unique purpose in their career, it’s important to understand what motivates you to work. Knowing why you go to work can help you determine what you want out of your career and whether you are satisfying that need in your current role.


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