ASK HR: My job no longer motivates me

Thursday August 23 2018

Even the attractive pay perk this company offers me does not excite me anymore. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH


Q. When I started working as a computer engineer two years ago, I was burning with passion and enthusiasm. I even earned a rare promotion after one year. Today though, this desire has dipped and its place taken by lethargy. I only work because I have to. Even the attractive pay perk this company offers me does not excite me anymore. This is what I always wanted to do. And I don’t think I would work in a different profession. What could possibly have slowed me down? Please advise me.

Akin to the beginnings of other human endeavours, the experience of a new job is often accompanied by a zeal that plateaus with time. It is a little unusual though that after a relatively short period of time, your enthusiasm has morphed into profound apathy towards your job.

Reflecting more about your situation may help you fathom your listlessness and find your pulse. Is it something in your external world, the organisation or you that has materially changed?

What aspects of your role did you initially find most interesting? If you are left to your own devices to shape a role for yourself, how would it differ from your current one?

Would it bear a similar level of challenge, be in the same organisation, same industry, with the same boss, peers and colleagues?

To what extent do you feel that you personally add value to the business? When was the last time your contribution to the business was acknowledged? Has the organisation’s leadership, performance or reputation significantly changed?


What about the organizational culture? Are there looming significant changes in the business? How would you describe your camaraderie with colleagues and peers?

How did your role change upon your promotion? Are you now expected to manage other people? If so, how has that experience been for you?

How well prepared were you to lead and manage performance through others? Have you had a change of line managers? If not, has the quality of supervisory support declined over time?

If yes, how would you describe your experience with your new line manager?

Perhaps it is your perspective rather than the pillars of your external world that have shifted. Mostly, the greatest motivation emanates from within.

Even with a career that suits you, the tide of enthusiasm rocks back and forth, for time subjects every experience to different seasons.

In the words of the poet B.N Oakman: “Every season is one of becoming, but not always one of blooming. Be gracious with your ever-evolving self.”