There’s a thrill that comes with getting a new job especially one that has a pay package that’s excellent on every level. Money, passion and interest are at an all time high. However, over time, there’s a tendency to lose the excitement and drive to keep at the job – the pay no longer seems like a big deal; and the tasks and projects no longer seem challenging. Stuck in the same position while others are promoted, you lose your creative edge, don’t feel relevant within the organization and end up becoming complacent.

This is perfectly normal and happens to a lot of people. To stay motivated, you need to find ways to pique your interest, or move on to another job opportunity that fulfills your intellectual and financial needs.

Motivation is governed by:

Extrinsic Factors: These are the external things like money, accolades, promotion etc. that keep an individual motivated. They are important but not sufficient enough to empower or keep you happy in a job over long periods – especially if it’s a job you’ve come to dislike. Notwithstanding, the thought of the expected/anticipated reward at the end of the month is enough to keep some people going for the time being.

Intrinsic Factors: They are innate skills and abilities like the desire to perform well, satisfaction of completing  tasks, exceed targets, interest in one’s role etc. that motivates an individual to get the job done. These factors show you have what it takes to succeed, but is not sustainable in itself long term, as you may have achieved your set goals and see no point in pushing yourself to attain greater things at work.
To achieve total motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic factors have to combine to enhance the individual’s performance and overall satisfaction on the job. Extrinsic factors like money can entice the individual to engage in a task or activity they have little interest in. It encourages people to work harder, pass exams, tests, and complete projects or tasks on time because of the expected rewards.

On the flip side, it can also decrease their motivation if they get bored of repeating the same activities, or see no further room for growth and development on the job. The appeal of receiving a bonus may not be enough to motivate or boost their performance.

Intrinsic factors like the passion for the job and personal development will drive an individual to perform at optimum levels and exceed expectations even if it is only for their personal satisfaction. This passion to perform well combined with an ideal reward can be excellent at motivating people.

Paying people to carry out tasks they enjoy doing, has the tendency to slow some people down. They may decide not to push themselves to exceed expectations – after all they will get paid irrespective.

Scenario 1 – The person with passion who no longer sees work as rewarding/challenging

If you feel like there’s no further room to grow or no other milestone to achieve within the organization, research into other roles/jobs that may offer exactly what you need. Look for challenging opportunities internally and externally to kindle your interest.

The questions below help to determine if you fall into this category.

  • Do you feel useful to your organization?
  • Have you developed any new skill recently?
  • Can you see your role making a difference?
  • Are you still realizing your potential at work?
  • Do you still get challenging opportunities to work on?

If you answered ‘No’ to at least 3 of the questions you need to find more challenging opportunities to keep your interest in the job.

Scenario 2 – The person who is only there for the money

If the job is no longer satisfactory and you are only at it for the pay, you may have to consider ways of improving your participation; or on the flip side, find a new job/create employment for yourself.

The questions below give an idea of the mind frame of someone already frustrated with work.

  • Is your job repetitive and boring?
  • Do you lose concentration at work?
  • Are you still enthusiastic about work?
  • Do you spend the bulk of your time thinking about quitting?
  • Do you harbor ill thoughts towards your colleagues, supervisors and managers?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to at least 3 of the questions, you need to reevaluate where you stand in the organization. There is still room for growth and development that may improve your appreciation of the job and your contributions to your team/department.

You can use training opportunities to develop new skills, discover new areas of interest, and find ways of using them within the organization. You could discuss with your manager about moving to another department where you would feel more relevant. Don’t settle for complacency.

Money is a necessity and serves huge purposes in our everyday lives. Having a job that pays well is great, as it allows you to cater for your basic needs and financial obligations.

There has to be a balance between your satisfaction with the job you’re doing, and the reward systems in place to appreciate your hard work and all round effort. Money and passion alongside other intrinsic factors are necessary to keep you motivated at work.

If money is the only thing keeping you there, you need to find ways to change that mind-set or move on to another role that offers the opportunity to put your skills to better use. If you’ve performed to the best of your abilities and see no further room for growth and development, look for opportunities to boost your performance either in that organization or somewhere else.

Don’t allow yourself to get complacent at work.

Find a balance between your performance and the rewards.

Keep looking for ways to increase your knowledge and skill-set.