What motivates you

Welcome to Career-Focused Fridays! This weekly series is dedicated to helping you prepare for any post-graduation challenges so that you can focus on what is important: pursuing a career you love with the confidence to take the first steps towards success in your chosen field. 

In last week’s post, we suggested identifying tasks that you would feel naturally motivated to accomplish. If this wasn’t easy for you to narrow down, you are not alone! Finding out what motivates you can be easier when you narrow down the ways you can be motivated to reach your goals. In Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson’s book, Focus, she breaks down the different ways people are motivated into two groups: those that are promotion-focused, and those that are prevention-focused. Figuring out the group into which you fit is easy, and can go a long way in helping you find a career you love.

Promotion-focused people are motivated by rewards and achievements, and work to complete their goals or assignments with a reward in mind. While they are generally more error-prone and optimistic than prevention-focused people, their natural risk-taking instincts can also lead to major payoffs. Promotion-focused people excel at:

  • Creativity and innovation
  • Seizing opportunities
  • Embracing risk
  • Working quickly
  • Generating lots of options and alternatives
  • Abstract thinking.

If you consider yourself a promotion-focused person, consider careers that are fast-paced, rapidly changing, and allow your creative side to shine, such as marketing or graphic design.

Prevention-focused people, on the other hand, see accomplishing goals as a means to establishing security and balance. Rather than take risks, prevention-focused people work towards keeping everything they’ve worked so hard to earn. While they may sometimes be seen as rigid and resistant to new ideas, they are also considered extremely reliable and able to solve complex problems. Prevention-focused people excel at:

  • Thoroughness and being detail-oriented
  • Analytical thinking and reasoning
  • Planning
  • Accuracy (working flawlessly)
  • Reliability
  • Anticipating problems

While everyone has qualities that can fit into both categories, think about your strengths and see which type of focus reflects your work style best. Once you’ve identified which type of worker you are, searching for a job will become less about trying to figure yourself out and more about finding a field where your work style and talents will be appreciated!



The Key to Choosing the Right Career for You | Creativity Post

Choose the Right Career Path Based on your Motivational Focus | Lifehacker