employee retention programs

Quitting your jobMany articles out there argue that if certain conditions exist in your workplace, it may be time to find another job.

Often, one of those conditions is when an individual lacks passion for the work.

Do you find it difficult to find passion in your current job?

While I agree that sometimes it’s better to move on, what you may really need is to rev up your achievement drive and make a difference in the job you have.

Achievement drive is that seemingly innate spark possessed by elite athletes, accomplished musicians, great leaders, and other highly successful people; it was first defined and introduced by Harvard psychologist David McClelland and his colleagues at Hay-McBer.

This spark is sustained by energy and passion for the work, a strong commitment to achieving results, and a level of persistence so powerful that obstacles become a distant memory. These are the people we look up to and say, “If only I had that kind of motivation pushing me forward!”

The truth is that, while this drive may come more easily to some, it is also possible to develop it within yourself over time. “I’m just not like that” is not a viable excuse. We all have the ability to build our own achievement drive and make a difference in our lives, both personally and professionally.

And you may have more innate achievement drive than you think.  Reflect on a time when you felt so passionate about a project or endeavor that failure seemed impossible. This experience can be work related or personal. Write down the answers to the following questions:

  1. Why were you so passionate?
  2. How did your feelings impact your behavior? Why?
  3. What obstacles did you face? How and why did you overcome them?

Now, think about your work. How can you transfer the experience that brought out your achievement drive to a specific task or goal at work on a regular basis?

Remember, success comes from not only what we do, but how well we do it. If you can’t seem to approach your work with the same passion, maybe you need to ask yourself some different questions:

  1. How committed are you to your work?
  2. Are you just showing up and fulfilling your basic duties?
  3. How willing are you to take a new approach and look at your work differently?

If you are feeling less than passionate about your work, maybe the solution is not to leave your job, but to reinvent how you approach it. Reframing the way you approach your current job may help you develop renewed passion.

If you want to grow, you have to change. Part of making that change is continually thinking about how you do your job and how you can do it better. Building your achievement drive isn’t about adding one more skill to the mix. High achievement drive will augment the skills you already have and take your performance to the next level.

Here are some tips that will help you increase your passion for your work:

  • Focus on what you like about your job.
  • Create a list of benefits that others receive because of your work.
  • Create a list of personal benefits of your work.
  • Celebrate successes and achievements (yours and others – even small ones).
  • Actively and consistently look for ways to improve your personal performance.
  • Find opportunities to challenge your abilities.
  • Try different approaches to your work to achieve the results you need.
  • Create a clear picture of the desired results or outcomes that will result from achieving your goals.
  • Don’t whine and spread negativity when you feel disinterested in your work.
  • Show appreciation for others.

Another exercise that will help you build your achievement drive is to pick apart your role and identify the tasks, responsibilities, and opportunities at work that excite you.

All of us like certain elements of our work less than others, but for this exercise, zone in the parts you enjoy the most. Use the energy and satisfaction that you gain from these activities as motivation to achieve even more.

If you are finding it difficult to find passion in your current job, consider it a challenge—and use it to push and motivate yourself to achieve. Remember, if we fail to find passion in our work, it can lead to stress, fatigue, frustration and dissatisfaction.

How do you think those negative emotions are affecting your job performance?

How can you lead, motivate, and inspire others to achieve?

Research conducted by Terry Bacon, founder of Lore International, suggests that leaders with high achievement drive have 10 times the influencing power of those with average drive. Just imagine how building your achievement drive could make a positive difference to your organization and your experience working there.

People who develop achievement drive are extremely persistent. They demonstrate a commitment to pursue high standards and focus on meaningful results. They have passionate dedication and a conviction to succeed—and they often motivate others to do the same—making a substantive and measurable difference to the success of the individual and the organization.

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About the Author
Cyndi Keller
Cyndi Keller is the Director of Curriculum Design & Development at CMOE. She brings over 20 years of communication project management experience to the Design Team and CMOE clients. She works with the Design Team to guide the design, development, and production of innovative learning and development curriculum.

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