Friday, August 26, 2011

Staying motivated in an unmotivated world

Staying motivated while searching for a job can be one of the most complicated actions.  Many people find it difficult to have enthusiasm and motivation when doors are closed in their face.  With the economy down and unemployment up how do you stay motivated to keep looking?  A normal human being can only hear no so many times before they just want to give up.  Here are a few suggestions to look at to hopefully stay motivated and not give up.

  1. Enthusiasm is sometimes difficult when you are looking for a job, but if you walk into a place and you are looking depressed and down, sounding down when you are speaking with the person in front of you then that is going to show all over you.  Even if you are having a bad day, plant that genuine smile on your face, pump yourself up and make sure you have that enthusiasm oozing from you even if it is just for that interaction.  I know it is hard to stay enthusiastic when you feel the search is not going anywhere, but find someone that can pump you up and be your cheerleader.
  2. Motivation comes from many different places.  Look at what motivates your actions.  What do you do every day to make sure you are motivated to succeed?  Who do you have in your corner that helps motivate you?  Using social networking sites are a good way to help and encourage each other to keep the chin up and share the frustration.  Making sure you motivate yourself to keep going is so important in today’s world.  Most people are motivated by money but there are other reasons to look at motivating yourself.  Maybe your children motivate you to make better choices, maybe your friends or family motivate you by walking the frustrating road of job search with you.  Maybe you just know your potential and that motivates you to change.  If we are not motivated to change, will we ever change?
  3. Barriers can get in our way on a daily basis.  What barriers do you have that stand in the way of you gaining employment?  The individuals I work with have barriers ranging from little to no education, minimal job experience to having a criminal record.  These are some of the barriers that individuals face in the job hunt.  I tell my participants the same thing I will tell you. Success is not measured in having everything you want but the barriers that you have overcame to achieve it.  Facing a barrier can be frightening but with the right support and a plan of action overcoming the barriers can be rewarding and fulfilling.
  4. Learning is a powerful tool to have on your side.  It is important to try and learn at least one new thing a day.  It might mean going back to school to help drive your career in an upward direction.  It might be learning a new skill that will make you stand out more to an employer.  It might be learn how to use multiple social networking sites to join other individuals in a forum to discuss different issues around employment.  It might be taking your self out of your comfort zone and doing something different.   
  5. Planning is important because without a plan of action how will you know if you have succeeded.  Sticking to that plan of action is imperative to having success.  Each day we all do things that are minor successes for us.  Maybe it is following through with something you said you would do, maybe it is accomplishing a task, even if it is an assigned task, maybe you wanted to be on time today or even early and you did that.  We all have things that we do daily that we should pat our own backs for succeeding, but we often fail to recognize these achievements.  

If we wait around for others to motivate us, or expect others to give us the accolades we feel we deserve but we are not giving them to ourselves, then we are missing the boat.  I have several people in my life that motivate me, help pick me up when I am down, and help bring a smile to my face.  Some of them are only known online but they still know how to help me help myself.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Show me the money, not the door

Show Me the Money was a requested topic for my blog that a reader wanted me to write about.  I am not sure that the specifics I will be talking about are exactly what they would like to hear but I am going to write it anyway.  Many employees will take a job just because of the money, not because they really want to work for that company.  I took a job once just because it was going to pay me more money than I had ever received at a job.  The job was being a ticket broker for a company that would buy tickets to many different events and then mark them up to an almost ungodly amount.  A lawn seat ticket at an outdoor amphitheatre that had a face value of 25 dollars would be sold starting at 125 dollars.  After a year of that job I quit because of my personal ethics would not allow me to keep ripping people off because they wanted to have some entertainment.

Employers are always looking to find incentives to help employee moral or to help employees with their productivity.  So many people want to make more and more money in their careers but they are not doing the proper things to begin to get that.  An employee who is just at a job because they feel they deserve more money but are not putting out the quality of work that would bring that sort of incentive are the employees who will become disgruntled, negative at work and have their productivity fall flat.  There are some ways to make it where you might make more money, but remember they gave you the privilege of working for them, not the other way around.  Employers do not need you, they do not have to hire you, so if you want more money you might want to consider doing some of these suggestions.

  1. Doing more work that asked is a good way to show your value to the company.  It is not the company’s necessity to come to you when you could help out on a project.  Doing more work than you are asked demonstrates initiative and that is something all employers will want and make great use of.  In this economy many employers need to ask fewer people to do more of the work due to financial needs because they cannot hire others.  Do not be the complainer who whines about being asked to do more work, remember you do have a job and that could be taken away at any point. Along with doing more work, try doing more difficult work, learn some new valuable skills and prove your worth before you assume you are worth more to the company
  2.  Out perform other co-workers.  Make sure that you are the favored employee, the one the boss goes to because they know you are dependable and not a flake.  Look around your office or place of employment and seek out the different workers.  The whiners, the complainers, the hard workers, often known as the suck up’s, the just waiting for the 5 o’clock whistle employee, the let me hide from extra possible job duties under my desk or in the bathroom employees.  Do not be the one who falls into most of these categories, if you want to make more money, then make yourself more useful.
  3. Remember that your actions on the job can make or break you.  If you want to make more money make sure you promote yourself.  Your actions can land you a promotion, but you have to remember that it is the work that you have performed, not the amount of time you have been with the employer.  In the past people would receive a cost of living raise, and now not many employers provide even that to their employees, because being employed is the cost of living  funding.
  4. Seeking out other opportunities in a different department is also an idea.  Corporations have many different departments that can offer many different options or possibilities for a change and even more responsibility for an employee.  Look through the open jobs board or start meeting with human resources to develop a career development plan which can help direct you.

These are just 4 solutions on how you will be shown the money, but remember your attitude and negativity can also have you shown the door.