Home > Portfolio > What Motivates You? My Top 6 Motivating Factors

What Motivates You? My Top 6 Motivating Factors

motivation sometimes there just isn't any fat man beer foodIf you’re reading my blog right now, chances are you have a job that you are concerned you might lose or you’ve already lost your job and are trying to find a way back into the workplace.  If you fall into these two categories, it’s important to understand what motivates you to do your best work.

Last time, I talked about setting professional goals.  Now it’s time to talk about how we achieve those goals by determining our motivating factors.  According to Wikipedia.com, “motivation is the driving force which causes us to achieve goals.”  Motivators can be intrinsic (driven by the enjoyment of the task itself) or extrinsic (coming from outside the individual).  Identifying your motivating factors can help you keep the job you have or help you find a job you will truly enjoy.

So what motivates me?  Using this long list of motivating factors, I derived my own personal list:


    1. Opportunities to Solve Complex Problems. 

    Most people want to show up to work and do nothing for eight hours a day.  I, on the other hand, want to show up and put my knowledge and skills to work.  Solving complex problems will get you noticed within your company.

    2. Freedom to Make Decisions without Approval from a Supervisor.

    Nobody likes a micro-manager.  I prefer to be told what the end result should be and then do what it takes to make it happen.  I don’t like having to go to my boss every half hour and ask, “Can I do it this way?” or “What should I do next?”

    3. Being Commended by Superiors when Doing a Good Job.

    Praise goes along with solving complex problems.  When you do something well, it is extremely motivating to be told you did a great job.


    4. Potential for Growth within the Company. 

    Knowing there is an opportunity for a promotion makes me want to work harder to prove that I am worthy of being promoted.

    5. Excellent Pay and Benefits.

    Let’s be honest, we all want to make a lot of money.  But, it’s not always all about your base salary.  Health, dental, and vision benefits, 401(k) matches, and tuition reimbursement are some of my favorites.

    6. Having a Flexible Work Schedule.

    I realized very quickly when I started working full-time how hard it was to get errands done during the week.  Some places aren’t open on the weekends or after 5:30pm on weekdays.  Lunch breaks sometimes aren’t long enough to get personal errands done.  Being able to take an extra hour lunch to get a teeth cleaning or leave a little early to go to a doctor’s appointment can be unexpectedly motivating.

Now it’s your turn to discover what motivates you.  Use the list of motivating factors I used to derive my list and try to identify a few intrinsic and extrinsic motivators that apply to you.  Don’t forget to add this list to your Professional Portfolio.

Image Credit

Webpage Credit:

Motivation – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

LifeworkTransitions.com – Motivating Factors

Categories: Portfolio
  1. March 4, 2011 at 10:08 PM


    Great post! I liked your transition from your last blog post to this post.

    I liked that you addressed the need to be acknowledged by superiors after a job-well-done. This is a big motivational factor for me when I accomplish something I’m really proud of.


    • March 4, 2011 at 10:32 PM


      Thanks for the comment. I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes it’s just not enough to be proud of what you’ve done. Praise is always very reassuring.


  2. March 7, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    Good post, Eric. I couldn’t agree more that being cognizant of the factors that motivate you as an individual are highly important to finding and creating work that you are happy with and proud of. Everyone would do well to create their own similar list. That said, it looks like my own personal motivators wouldn’t be too far off from yours. Great looking blog!

    • March 8, 2011 at 9:42 PM


      Thanks for commenting on my blog post! I’m glad to hear we have similar motivators. I also appreciate your comment about my blog as a whole. That really means a lot to me.


  3. December 24, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    Totally agree!

    I love the benefits that we get from appreciating the opportunities and freedom that we have in life. In seeking the motivation that can bring us forward – sometimes we forgot to appreciate what we have in our life.

    Thanks for sharing! Will try to digest more of your suggestions!

  4. odongo james
    December 18, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Thanks, Eric for the motivation facts ,i totally agree.

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