April 21, 2014 Leave a comment
For some of you reading this, the bad news is that you’re unemployed; but the good news is that you are in complete control of finding your next job.
In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink—he writes about how science and the business operation paradigm are out of sync. Jobseekers can learn how to better conduct their job search by embracing Pink’s theories.
Pink asserts that most people are motivated by intrinsic values, which he calls Motivation 3.0. More specifically, we’re driven by autonomy, mastery, and purpose. The predecessor to Motivation 3.0 is Motivation 2.0, which assumes we’re driven by money, rewards and reprimand—the carrot and stick theory, or extrinsic values. Motivation 1.0 satisfies our basic needs.
Unfortunately, many companies have not graduated to Motivation 3.0 and are stuck in Motivation 2.0, perhaps because management doesn’t trust their employees to act alone, doesn’t encourage them to challenge themselves, and doesn’t encourage them to see the purpose of their actions.
Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives. Pink gives Google as an example of autonomy as a motivator, where employees are given 20% of their time to work on whatever they want. This, as a result, promotes creativity; and creativity often leads to better ideas and better products.
Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters. The idea is to challenge yourself to be better and willing to accept failure. Some believe they never learn without failing and given the chance to correct their mistake/s. Have we evolved into a culture where failure is not an option?
Purpose: The yearning to do what we do at the service of something that is better than ourselves. What is your purpose in life? Is it to do what is simply required and receive an adequate performance review, or is your purpose to accomplish goals that grow you as an individual and, as a result, make the company better?
How motivation plays a role in our job search. In my mind our motivation to get back to work comes from within. Certainly earning a paycheck is an extrinsic motivator, we need money to pay our bills, but what really motivates us is regaining our sense of identity and the daily routine we’ve grown accustomed to. Given that we are ultimately internally motivated, we need to take action and conduct a proper job search. Here are the steps you need to take:
Autonomy: I ask my jobseekers who is rewarding or reprimanding them for working hard and smart in their job search. Similarly, who is standing over them to make sure they network, write compelling résumés and cover letters? The answer is no one. They have complete autonomy in their job search—they’re in complete control of their actions. Further, jobseekers can conduct their job search however they see fit. There are rules, but breaking some rules can lead to success, not reprisal or being fired.
Mastery: Jobseekers must master the job search in order to be successful. Some haven’t written a résumé or been on an interview in 10, 20, even 30 years. There will be a lot of attempts and failures along the way. Many résumés will be rejected because they’re poorly written and don’t talk to the needs of each employer; many interviews won’t go well. But jobseekers must not lose their resolve—when they master the process, results will start pouring in.
Purpose: Without purpose, the other two elements of Motivation 3.0 are a moot point. Jobseekers’ plan should be general at first but become more specific as time goes on. With whom will they network, what companies will they target, what personal goals will they set for themselves? Their ultimate purpose is to secure an interview and finally a job. More advanced jobseekers will come to the aid of others who are looking for work. They will pay it forward.
Not all occupations require Motivation 3.0—take assembly, for example, where systematic work is the norm—but many people are happier and more productive in their jobs if they work in an environment where autonomy, mastery, and purpose are encouraged. Jobseekers who embrace Motivation 3.0. will be more productive because they’ll see more options and feel a greater sense of purpose.