Staying Motivated in Your Current Role: 6 Strategies That Work

Motivation is essential to career success. The more motivated you feel in your role, the more likely you are to unlock superior levels of productivity and efficiency. Plus, highly motivated employees are generally more satisfied and fulfilled by their roles.

However, motivation can be difficult to maintain as roles grow more challenging and complex. While the Gallup State Of The Global Workforce Reports 2023 revealed that employee engagement is rising, many employees are still “quiet quitting” due to lacking motivation.

Discovering how to re-ignite and retain high motivation levels could give you a crucial edge in your career, pave the way for progression and boost your professional brand. Here are some top strategies you can use to find your drive.

Strategy 1: Setting Personal and Professional Goals

Setting clear, achievable goals impacts your motivation and productivity levels as a employee. Several studies show that by setting goals and giving ourselves specific targets to work towards, we boost our chances of achieving what we want.

Goals can even help avoid procrastination and enhance your confidence at work. In your career, it’s essential to have short-term and long-term goals that align with your personal and professional aspirations and the broader objectives of the organization you work with.

Set aside time to complete a self-assessment to define what matters most to you in your career and personal life. In the short term, you might want to focus on becoming more efficient at work to complete crucial tasks faster, or you might like to master your influencing and persuasion skills.

In the long term, your goals might be to earn a promotion with your current employer or take on specific new responsibilities.

Remember, long-term and short-term; your goals should be “SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

For instance, a long-term goal might be: “Within the next five years, I want to apply for an executive position as a ???. To do this, I’ll work on developing [specific skills] to show my value to my employer based on the organization’s long-term goals of [target].”

Strategy 2: Seeking Feedback and Growth Opportunities

Feedback is a powerful resource for any employee. Negative feedback, as it is often referred to, can be hard to hear. It’s more helpful to consider it as “developmental feedback” as it gives you a clear insight into the specific skills or behaviours to improve, which will contribute to you achieving your desired goals.

Several scientific studies show that regular feedback can keep us motivated by showing us our work, efforts and progress are being recognized. With that in mind, seek feedback from your peers or colleagues in the workplace, your managers and mentors.

Based on the feedback you get, look for ways to develop yourself consistently and proactively. Formal training, workshops, cross-departmental projects and more can all give you excellent opportunities to improve your skills and industry knowledge. Not only will committing to professional development help you progress towards your goals, but it can also reinvigorate your passion for your role, helping you discover new and exciting parts of your job. Plus, self-development will boost your intrinsic motivation levels by paving the way for career advancement.

Strategy 3: Cultivating a Positive Work Environment

Your work environment can affect your work motivation in various ways. A poor working environment, a competitive or unsupported culture, or a limited focus on employee wellbeing can harm mental and physical health, increase stress levels and lead to disengagement.

In some cases, a sub-par work environment can result in burnout, causing you to disconnect from your role and feel less passionate about your career. Alternatively, a good working environment and positive company culture drive motivation.

A Harvard Business Review study found an excellent company culture and working environment minimises emotional pressure and inertia while improving “total motivation”.

While your employer is partly responsible for creating a positive work environment for team members, you can help shape the landscape, too. Consider how changes to your workplace or office, your schedule and your day-to-day use of systems and processes might improve your experience at work.

Present these suggestions to your employer and explain how they might impact motivation for you and your team members. Highlight the value of a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture to business leaders to drive them towards positive changes. For instance, several McKinsey studies show diverse workforces perform better financially.

Strategy 4: Maintaining Work-Life Balance

When striving towards ambitious goals in your job role, it’s easy to lose track of work-life balance. One study found around 40% of employees neglect crucial aspects of their lives when focusing on work. However, while feeling “committed” to your role is pivotal, looking after your mental and physical health is also vital.

Think about how you can optimise how you balance professional responsibilities with your personal life. Can you set boundaries with your employer and colleagues, such as establishing when you won’t be willing to work overtime or respond to messages outside of office hours?

How can you improve your work-life balance by finding ways to manage your time more effectively so you’re less likely to feel you need to work through lunch breaks or commit to overtime to adhere to employer expectations?

If you feel overly stressed at work or believe your work-life balance is faltering, speak to your manager about your options. Ask whether they can help with more flexible scheduling options or offer access to wellbeing initiatives.

Strategy 5: Leveraging Mentorship and Networking

Building relationships with peers in the industry is another excellent way to increase motivation. Creating strong connections with your colleagues can help to give you a sense of accountability, reminding you that your performance impacts others.

Your peers can also provide support and guidance when your motivation dips, offering positive feedback or words of encouragement. Networking with professionals in your industry also gives you a great way to cultivate your passion for your sector.

You’ll be able to learn about trends and changes in the landscape from other like-minded people and could even attend exciting events and training seminars that nurture your interests.

Working with a mentor is an excellent option to support your continuing development. A mentor can offer advice, make introductions that expand your network and open doors to new opportunities. They will also be an invaluable sounding board when you are experiencing frustration, demotivation, or disengagement.

Strategy 6: Embracing Challenges and Innovation

Finally, one of the best ways to improve your chances of staying motivated in your current job role is to continue to develop your mindset. Adopting a “growth mindset“, as pioneered by Carol Dweck, means changing how you think about yourself, your skills and your failures.

People with a growth mindset are more likely to feel motivated because they see everything as an opportunity to learn, develop, and improve. If you’re constantly looking for ways to enhance your role, you’re more likely to feel passionate and engaged by what you do.

Additionally, a growth mindset means you’re less likely to let failures or mistakes diminish your confidence or motivation. Look for opportunities to nurture your growth mindset by seeking new responsibilities or projects in your role to push you out of your comfort zone.

Take advantage of opportunities to explore innovative new solutions and technology in your sector, experiment with creative problem-solving strategies and see every challenge as exciting. Embracing this mindset will re-ignite your enthusiasm for your role and could help you achieve a wider range of goals.

Stay Motivated in your Current Job Role

Maintaining motivation is crucial to staying productive in your job role, achieving your professional goals and unlocking new opportunities. However, motivation can be difficult to preserve, particularly in a challenging working environment.

Regularly reflect on your motivation levels at work and use the strategies above to re-ignite your drive when it starts to diminish.

Kind regards

Neil Scarborough – Managing Director

At The Recruiting Office, we have been helping firms with their talent acquisition, and a wide range of job seekers find their ideal roles for almost a decade and have successfully placed hundreds of top tier candidates. If you want to find out how we can help you – call us on 01603 964816 or email neil@therecruitingoffice.co.uk

Further Reading:

Why Developing Your Personal Brand is a Good idea This Year
Preparing for your Performance Review: A checklist