Can you see a clear path forward? How motivation theory works in practice

clear path way featuredThis week as week 3 of our series of decision making around staying out or getting a new job, we explore what happens when you see less of a career track where you are and you think you can get further in another firm. Basically, it boils down to the old saying “dead men’s shoes” or in this case, “dead women’s heels” as if you cannot see a promotional track ahead of you, chances are you are ready to look elsewhere and who could blame you?

Goal setting theory and other organizational psychology theories and basic principles suggests that motivation is not a specific trait in any one person but rather it is a combination of your ability to do the job and experience more successes than grinding organizational obstacles, along with your ability to see a clear path forward otherwise known as “opportunity”. This is how you stay motivated at work.

However, make sure you are actually seeing the big picture- firms often offer much more mobility than you can see with the naked eye. First port of call is to ask your manager how he or she feels you can grow in the firm and how you can grow in the next year or two? Network outside of your direct team as openly as you see fit in your specific situation. Look at job boards and see what opportunities are being advertised.
The art and the science is knowing how much trust you can have in your manager to sponsor you. Next week we shall talk more about this.

By Nicki Gilmour, Executive Coach and Organizational Psychologist
Contact if you would like to hire an executive coach to help you navigate the path to optimal personal success at work