I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy who likes to think about stuff.
Do you have things to do around the house that you just put off? Cut the grass. Scrub the bathtub. Vacuum. We all have them. I’m guessing you have stuff in your career that you’re putting off, too. Next on the list of excuses we give ourselves to stay at unstimulating jobs: I’m unmotivated to leave. Have you ever told yourself, “It doesn’t matter. At least I’m getting paid?” Yeah, me, too.
Lack of motivation tends to infiltrate all facets of our lives. I should know. There are dust bunnies giving birth to dust bunny babies in my apartment as I type! We can’t stay lazy when our careers are concerned, though. I can think of three reasons why:
1. You’ re not learning new things
Unmotivated people tend to go on auto pilot at work, especially if they’ve been at the same job for years. You tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter. At least I’m getting paid.” I can definitely relate to this. At one of my previous jobs, I basically did the same thing every day. The job wasn’t a challenge anymore. After awhile, I was unmotivated to learn new skills. I simply did the job and went home, only to repeat the process the following day. That’s no way to live. Your job should be interesting, with a new wrinkle to solve every day.
2. You’re content with your pay, even if it’s not commensurate with your job
Have you ever had a job where years would come and go, but your pay would stay the same? Been there. At one of my jobs, my pay didn’t increase for 3 years – not even a cost of living increase. When you’re not getting paid what you’re worth, your first thought may be to leave your job. But more often than not, you don’t. You stay at the job, telling yourself, “It doesn’t matter. At least I’m getting paid.” You don’t put your all into your work, though.
3. You won’t stand up for yourself
Have you ever been at a point in your job that anyone can do anything to you and you don’t do anything about it? A coworker cuts you off while you are talking at a meeting. Someone steals your lunch from the company fridge. The company announces it’s eliminating the 401(k) match. And to all of them, you say, “It doesn’t matter. At least I’m getting paid.” Your will has been beaten down. Someone took your tuna on rye and you don’t make a peep! You just don’t care anymore. You’re so listless that someone could threaten to punch you in the face and you wouldn’t even flinch.
Is this the way you want to live? You spend so much time at work. Shouldn’t it be enjoyable? You need to find a way out of your malaise. Your career depends on it. Focus on the benefits of being motivated. Motivated people learn new things, which can help them land their next job. Motivated people insist on earning what they’re worth, because they know the value they bring to an organization. And motivated people wouldn’t stand for Bryce from Marketing interrupting them during a meeting. Wait your turn, Bryce!
Getting paid shouldn’t be enough to keep you at a job. You should be inspired to come to work every day. If your employer wants to keep you, it should be willing to find out what motivates you. Once that’s done, get a camera installed in the lunchroom to catch that sandwich thief!
Next week, another excuse. Stay tuned!