You’re great at what you do. You’ve got a clear roadmap of where you want your career to take you. However, even when you have every step, milestone, and promotion mapped out, the reality is that advancing doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s common for energy levels at work to dip at points. This is particularly true at the end of the year. Suddenly, things that you took in your stride can start to feel like a slog and you can become bogged down and demotivated.
A work project you felt confident with last month may suddenly appear to be overwhelming. Moments like these are crucially important because if you become discouraged, chances are you’ll start to procrastinate. The trick is to stay motivated, even when you feel like you’re at a standstill. Take this skill into 2022 and it will help you re-energise your whole career approach.
The link between emotions and motivation:
The key to feeling motivated is in the word “feeling.” According to Eric Barker in his Times article “How to Motivate Yourself: 3 Steps Backed by Science”, emotions nearly always win out over reason. When you’re unhappy, discouraged, or stressed, these negative emotions will result in procrastination. On the other hand, when you’re feeling happy, confident, and excited, these positive emotions power action. In other words, positive emotions form an integral aspect of motivation.
Seven strategies for staying motivated
Some of us have naturally sunnier dispositions than others, but it’s important to remember that a positive attitude and motivating approach are skills that can be learnt. So, forget the usual New Year’s resolutions and instead invest in cultivating a positive attitude. This approach could accelerate great things in your personal and professional life!
1. Visualise your goals. Positive imagery is a powerful way to remain inspired to advance. Think about your goals every day. Imagine your life once you’ve reached your professional goals and use these images to motivate yourself.
2. Be realistic. Advancing your career is all about attaining your goals, but those goals must be realistic; otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Carefully review your plans, and determine whether you need to add smaller, interim goals that will help you feel confident on the way to your bigger objectives.
3. Have a setback plan. According to an article titled “12 Strategies for Motivation that Work!” by the Dean of Students at Allegheny College, it’s essential to be prepared to deal with setbacks. Approach them as a learning opportunity by analysing what you could have done better and how you can improve your performance in the future.
4. Learn positive self-talk. Just like a coach motivates their athletes by assuring them they can achieve their dreams; you should learn to encourage yourself in your career with positive self-talk. If you’re afraid of failure and you tell yourself a task is too difficult, chances are you won’t do well. If you tell yourself a challenge is an opportunity to test your skills and learn new ones, you’re creating a positive situation for yourself in which you’re not limited by your own apprehension.
5. Develop a routine. Heading into January with a clearly defined routine can provide you with a powerful tool to stay positive and motivated throughout the year. The more you grow accustomed to doing certain things like studying or networking for a specific number of hours per day, the easier it becomes.
6. Create a competitive environment. Friendly competition can help you up your game and surpass your own expectations. Find colleagues or friends who are also looking to advance their careers and inspire each other to continuously do better.
7. Reward yourself. Instead of only celebrating when you’ve achieved a goal, remember to take the time to reward yourself for your hard work. Treat yourself to a movie, a nice dinner, or whatever fun activity you enjoy most.
Advancing your career takes time and hard work. Use these tips to keep yourself motivated, and you’ll find that it becomes easier to consistently move your career forward in 2022.
Keeping motivated is key to career success but, if you feel there is no room to grow in your current role, why not look for a new one? View our current open vacancies here.