In his latest blog, our ConnectMyCareer Adviser Andrew explores three of the main motivations behind career choice.
Why do people choose a certain career?
Pay is most people’s starting point, but arguably not the only factor.
What a person does is often a key ice breaker in any conversation. It’s a social identifier that carries with it a whole range of other, complex, self-identity and sociological factors.
So ask yourself: do you identify yourself as your job? How much of who you are is what you do?
Validation is one starting point in answering this.
Validation allows us to feel that our job has purpose and is, however we individually define it, worthwhile. It has a meaning that makes sense to us. Each person’s own self-validation varies from putting food on the table, to having a job that provides social standing, and we arguably seek positive validation in our working lives. Too often change problematically comes along to disrupt this and we can find ourselves out of kilter.
Is that part of ourselves now invalid?
Satisfaction in our job overlaps with validation, but arguably on less of a deep psychological level.
Validation gives the grounding for our job, while satisfaction allows us to be happy in a job well done and contented on a daily basis, regardless of our job role.
An excellent service provided, targets met, or quality product created can all give us satisfaction in what we do. This is changeable and individualised according to our personality and circumstances.
The introduction of something that disrupts that and its persistence over time leads to something we can all know – the awfulness of job dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
Promotion as a driver in our jobs is arguably the easiest motivator to identify with.
We wish to move to a higher position for more money, status, validation and satisfaction. Yet we may be thwarted by lack of progression opportunity, relevant experience, qualification or other barrier, or even factors such as internal organisational politics. When promotion becomes unlikely, we can start to wonder about moving on.
Pay is fundamental to our working lives. One can feel satisfied but underpaid, so we can become increasingly invalidated.
Invalidation, dissatisfaction or being frustrated with promotion can all lead to job unhappiness. We can then either accept that and cope via other means, or we address it. Addressing it requires us to invest in ourselves and our own career development. That’s where a career coach could help.
Or, you may consciously choose one or two out of these as your motivation, in the knowledge that you may miss out on the others.
There is nothing wrong with that if it is working for you.
But, it’s important to revisit your choice regularly. Life changes, and so do we.
Do you feel less validated, satisfied or frustrated in your promotion prospects? Career coaching can help you reflect on your motivators. Find out more here: https://connectmycareer.org.uk/service/career-coaching/