Whether you are an intern or a new member of the workforce, transitioning from school to work takes some time to get used to. You are still trying to figure things out, but at the same time, you need to adjust to different demands in a different setting. It can be very taxing, which is why it is crucial that you know how to keep yourself motivated.
Motivation is the inner driving force that will tremendously help you be productive and achieve career growth. But what do you do when finding — and keeping — motivation at work is next to impossible? Protect your career growth as early as now by nipping these 12 motivation killers in the bud.
Experiencing culture shock happens even if you don’t go abroad. If you feel like a fish out of water, it can prevent you from being yourself and from doing great. Keep in mind that you are only experiencing this because you are a newbie, but once you have started learning the ropes, you will be more comfortable. Also, get to know the people at the office better so you can ease your way into their work culture.
Trying to Please Everyone
If you are a rookie who’s trying hard to please everyone by doing everything, you need to quit that mentality now. Please everyone and you will end up pleasing nobody, not even yourself. Avoid disappointment by focusing on your job. Consult with your supervisor, if you need to. Most importantly, give it your best every time you carry out your tasks because it is the right thing to do.
It is easy to fall into self-doubt when you have yet to carve your niche. This can result in a lack of motivation, which can hamper your performance, forming a cycle that is not ideal for progress. Remember, you are what you think. Silence your doubts and fears by focusing on your work. Record your performance so you’ll have something to remind you that you are doing fine. Also, don’t be afraid to take on challenges. Nothing will happen if you let yourself stagnate in one corner.
Not Enough Compensation
People are hard-wired to work for reward. After all, why work when you gain absolutely nothing from it? For interns, even those who are lucky to have paid internships, and for entry-level employees, understand that everyone needs to start somewhere. Build your way up as you prove yourself. However, if you feel that you should be getting more, whether in terms of payment or benefits, bring it up with your supervisor.
Lack of Focus
Having a lot on your plate without knowing where your work will lead you to can drain the life out of you. Remember, you won’t go places if you don’t have the slightest idea of what you want to achieve. Know how you want your career to be and set clear, attainable, and time-bound goals that will guide you on your journey towards career growth.
Too Little or Too Much Work
If you always finish your tasks early and find yourself wanting more, simply ask your supervisor, who may not know yet what you can do within a certain timeframe. Proactively finding ways to be productive is something that needs to come from you. On the other hand, you may encounter the opposite scenario wherein you are overwhelmed with the pile of work. Again, talk to your supervisor so both of you can calibrate the job.
The Kind of Work that You Do
It could also be the case of you feeling unsatisfied with what you do at the office. Do you want real work and not just make coffee for your boss? Or do you think that your tasks are not aligned with your job description and with your career growth plans? Always keep your eye open for opportunities so you can contribute meaningfully. At the same time, do your job well no matter what it is to show your dedication.
Working against Yourself
The key is maximizing your physical and mental capability. Take care of your health so you can do more. Know when you are most active so you can bank on your energy at its highest level. If you are a morning person, do the hardest items first and do the menial tasks later. Also, focus on one thought process at a time. According to Dean Rieck, a prolific copywriter, attempting to create and evaluate at the same time is a bad habit because you cannot efficiently use both modes of thinking simultaneously.
Employees, especially those who are just starting to make their name, need mentors in nurturing career growth. These mentors will greatly help you with their wisdom of experience and honest feedback. However, everyone, at some point in their career, will have a boss that can be hard to deal with. If you have such a manager, assess your situation first so you know how to approach him or her. Then, communicate your points clearly and objectively. Also, be open to his or her feedback and criticisms.
Unless they resign, your co-workers are here to stay, whether you like it or not. With this, you will do your best by doing something about it. Identify what throws you off. Do your teammates refuse to cooperate? Do they cross personal and professional lines? Know how to handle conflicts and talk to them properly so you can arrive at the best solution.
Terrible Work Space
How conducive your office is for productive work affects your motivation to some extent. Evaluate the things that you can change in your workspace. If it is about the music (or the lack thereof), use headphones. If you need something to cheer you up, put photos of you and your loved ones on your desk. If the problem is something that only the management can work on, like outdated equipment, raise this concern for the benefit of everyone in the office.
All Work and No Play
Climbing up the corporate ladder requires hard work, but it does not mean that you should work yourself to death. Taking a break every now and then is not a bad thing. In contrast, it makes you even more productive because you are refreshing your mind and body. Also, make time to pursue your interests and nurture your relationships for a perfect work-life balance.
Achieving success as a young intern or employee is not easy, but it is not impossible. You just need to spot the things that stop you from being motivated at work. At the end of the day, it is up to you to make things work so you can reach the career growth that you have always wanted.
About the author
Anna Rodriguez is a manager and a passionate writer. She also has a varied background in real estate brokerage, investing, online marketing, and social media management. She owns Homey Guide Blog. Follow her at @annrodriguez021