What Motivates You?

What motivates you?  Every time I think about work and motivation, I am reminded of the quote from Office Space:

Peter Gibbons: The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.

Bob Porter: Don’t… don’t care?

Peter Gibbons: It’s a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don’t see another dime, so where’s the motivation? And here’s something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.

Bob Slydell: I beg your pardon?

Peter Gibbons: Eight bosses.

Bob Slydell: Eight?

Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

I see this all the time. When I started at my current position and I worked hard on projects, everyone said: “Why bother, it’s not going to get you anywhere.” After working here for two years, I am starting to understand that logic sadly enough.  However, It goes against how I was raised.

In addition, money is the ultimate motivator, but not the only motivation.  For me it is growth, I am not out to break the bank.  But, I do want to be acknowledged with regular raises.  I personally need something to work for, a goal whether it be financial or a clear path for potential growth.  Currently I have reached a glass ceiling, there is nowhere to go and without raises, I must rely on personal motivation.  Yet, everyone around me is performing less and less due to the lack of motivation.  It is difficult not to become Peter Gibbons.  Maybe it is time to move on?  However, I must fight to remain motivated.


About SQLGator

Microsoft Data Platform MVP, Florida Gator, Star Wars fanatic and is there anything else...oh yeah PS4! I am a geek and SQL Server Business Intelligence Consultant, there are other technologies greater than these? Not so fast my friend! I also love to travel to new and exotic places.

Posted on July 18, 2013, in Career Advice, Goals, Personal Development Plan, Random Musings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Keep fighting the good fight man. I’ve learned over the years that it is often times to find people who will work and take pride in what they do. You and I come from the same mold in that I was not raised that way either; day in and day out give 110% and do your best. I’ve found that often times it takes care of itself. It’s easy to get frustrated when motivation is not present; I try to remember Progress not Perfection. Appreciate all you do and that is what the SQL Family is for – encouragement and there when one falls 12 more pick us up and carry us on. Good luck man!

  2. I wrote a blog post about this:


    Work hard and be diligent because that is an investment in YOU and by not working diligently the person you ultimately defraud is yourself.

    John Lennon and Paul McCartney didn’t stop learning how to write songs when they were starving in Hamburg because they were unknowns with no apparent opportunity for success.

    Work diligently because that is the only way to improve yourself.

    What you do is your profession. Where you work is the place where you happen to collect a paycheck at the present moment. Know the difference.

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