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10 Motivators of those who don’t “need” to work January 27, 2010

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, business intelligence, Coaching, DIRECTV, emotional decisions, life balance, Notes for Business, Personal action plans, quality of life, Satisfaction, The Four Windows Process, well being.

Ever wondered why someone chooses to go back into the workplace even when they don’t need the money?  In this article, international executive and leadership coach John M McKee discusses the key reasons driving their action.  Some of them may surprise you.



Why is it that some individuals work so much harder than others, even when it  doesn’t “makes sense”?

Understanding their underlying emotional needs may help.

Many people will work for years until they reach a point need or time wise, when they no longer have to continue with their role, and then they finish. Others, however, continue in those roles or activities long after such considerations or commitments are fully satisfied.

Why? What motivates some people to continue when they no longer must?

Psychologists note that the answer may be found in how one views their self worth. Some individuals have a stronger “need to be needed”.

Those people may exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:

1. Need for prestige – These individual’s self-worth is reinforced by the title of their role, status of the company employing them, or visible perks such as having a executive assistant to attend to certain tasks for chores for them. Prestige may also come from having subordinates who simply listen and take direction from them.

2. Need for influence – Certain roles or positions have “reach” and influence many others. Could be through direct reporting relationships and often it’s the power of role
e.g.: a reporter or celebrity who has no employees but can influence many others through their work.

3. Need for affiliation – Some jobs come with built-in associates and “friends”. Soon after one arrives, they have chosen or been chosen by others as business friends; perhaps more accurately referred to as colleagues. In many cases these people partially fill the individual’s desire for personal relationships. It can be traumatic for them to learn that those people don’t feel the same toward them.

4. Need for success – For many reasons, some people are overachievers. They grasp onto tasks, assignments, roles with clear quantifiable outcomes and then set about doing whatever it takes to do them better than anyone else can. Being recognized for doing more than others may become an unconscious goal in itself.

5. Need for identification – Some people need to have a clear role, one that they and others can see as being clearly important. Such roles can be personal or professional, e.g.: mother, executive, doctor, actor. However it arose and whichever role is chosen, those people often become lost without the role.

6. Need for purpose – It is important that we feel have a purpose for our life. Without one, an individual’s life can feel very unsatisfying. A person’s purpose can be broad, for example, “to help others succeed” or more narrowly defined, such as “to be a great father, or top golfer”.

7. Need to help others – Some individuals feel that they have been given so much that they have an “obligation” to give to others via volunteerism or activism. This feeling may be genuine altruism or perhaps a deep rooted sense of guilt for being so blessed when others have little.

8. Need for reputation – Many people view themselves – and others – through the perspective of what they “do” or “have done”. When these people meet others, one of the first things they often discuss is their track record, complete with titles. Alternately, this need can be witnessed by how they first inquire about others, for example, “what do you do?” as opposed to other types of questions.

9. Need for work – There are true workaholics. This individual behave like this often because they are addicted, and less frequently because they love their jobs – although they will usually profess that as being their reason for being so busy.

10. Need for activity – For such people, they simply don’t have much that interests them outside of their job. Of course this can make this individual pretty boring to those who come into contact with them. Additionally they are often easily bored by others.




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