The Motivation Issue
FEATURE | What motivates you?

What motivates you?

Take our quiz.

By Jenny Jedeikin

 

Pondering which career to pursue is an age-old dilemma. While many people choose careers by pursuing fields that interest them, or exploring professions related to subjects they were best at in school, those strategies don’t always lead to satisfaction.

 

By discovering what motivates you and makes you work harder, you can realize your greatest potential. Who knows what amazing things you can achieve?

Answer each of these questions to discover your motivation type. It’s best to choose the first answer that grabs you. Note: While this quiz is based loosely on the Myers-Briggs personality types, this is only a rough guide to discovering your motivation type and what careers you might consider exploring.

Which of the following sets of statements is most true for you?

B

In competitive situations, I will do almost anything I can to win.

Y

I make choices that put me in charge of my own time. I don’t like to just follow orders and work in a very structured work environment.

R

I seek opportunities where I am rewarded for my individual effort. If I work hard, I want that to directly affect my wallet.

G

I want to be an integral part of a larger effort that is doing something positive in the world. I want to help people.

 

What type of reality show would you have the best chance of winning?

R

Sell it! A race to make a million selling anything.

Y

Make it original. The most creative people compete to come up with unusual ideas.

B

Convince me! Contestants debate to win arguments and influence people.

G

Save them! A group of participants compete to convert a group of hardened ex-convicts to more altruistic people, with something to give back to the world.

The Motivation Issue
FEATURE | What motivates you?
 

In researching a new job, which of the following would be a deal breaker:

Y

It’s very routine work, long hours and some weekends required.

R

The pay is not the greatest.

G

The company exploits people all over the world.

B

You’re working underneath a lot of senior people who will take credit for what you do.

The full-time job you would most dread having would be:

B

Housekeeper.

G

Army Commander leading invasion.

Y

Toll collector.

R

Unpaid volunteer, soup kitchen.

When you’re at a party, you gravitate toward:

R

Strangers who can advance your career.

B

People who you know well and are impressed by your abilities.

Y

Fascinating folks with interesting stories.

G

People who could really use your helpful advice.

 

In school, if you had to pick, you were more of a:

B

Debate team member/high achiever.

Y

Artistic individual.

G

Peer counselor, supportive friend.

R

Captain of the basketball team.

If given an important work project you prefer:

Y

To do one portion of it alone, setting your own schedule.

G

To work within the group and take on whatever role is most helpful.

R

To manage the project, as long as there is increased compensation for completion.

B

To be in charge so that it is done correctly, and that you get the credit!

Your typical daydream tends to involve:

R

A private jet and a luxury Ferrari.

Y

A Pulitzer Prize for writing or creativity.

B

Your photo on the cover of Time magazine.

G

Ending world hunger.

 

Which act would you find hardest to forgive? Someone …

G

Dumping waste at your local lake.

Y

Accusing you of being an unoriginal copycat.

R

Judging you as having cheap taste.

B

Humiliating you in public.

If you have to play a game for several hours, you would have the most fun playing:

R

Risk or Monopoly.

Y

Pictionary or Balderdash.

G

The Mad Sad Glad Game about Feelings or Make It Green!

B

Trivial Pursuit or Go to the Head of Class.

Which set of activities most appeal to you?

R

Produce results, grow, fix, construct, build.

B

Lead, influence, persuade, perform, command, manage, direct.

G

Inform, enlighten, help, teach, heal, develop, support.

Y

Innovate, create, imagine, explore, fantasize, intuit, sense.

 
The Motivation Issue
FEATURE | What motivates you?
 

You would most like to be admired by
others as …

G

The Martin Luther King Jr. of your industry.

R

The John Rockefeller of your industry.

Y

The Michelangelo of your industry.

B

The Neil Armstrong of your industry.

Your dream vacation just got a lot better because it involves:

B

Speaking at a convention to a captive audience.

Y

Spending quality time alone and being creative.

R

An opportunity to make some big money.

G

Volunteering at a shelter in an economically developing nation.

The super-power app that you would love to have on your phone would most likely involve:

R

Generating a new source of income at the touch of a button.

G

Connecting you to people that could help restore balance and tranquility to the planet.

Y

Providing you with sought-after sources for selling your unique and original ideas to others.

B

Giving you a platform for leading the masses to follow your lead and offer you accolades.

 

Which of these phrases is most true about you at work?

G

I need to make a difference in the lives of other people.

R

I want to feel proud of the amount of money I earn.

Y

I just want to be left alone to do my thing and do it well.

B

I need to be in charge of other people.

Time to find your type!
Now that you’ve answered the questions, it’s time to tally up your responses and find your motivation type. Count up your answers in terms of B, Y, R, G (blue, yellow, red, green) symbols. Although each type may apply to you to a degree, the type with the most points is your dominant motivation type. If there is a tie, you are equally motivated by a variety of factors. Read both types because both pertain to you. Lucky you, you have a lot of choices to pick from.

B: Praise-oriented achiever. You may be strongly motivated by receiving recognition in your work. In most things you do, you probably like to be in charge, in the spotlight and enjoy influencing others to see things your way. You are likely to be quite ambitious and feel driven to succeed and enjoy positions of power. Occupations that you might consider exploring include corporate leadership jobs where you are managing others, as well as lecturer, professor, lawyer, head of industry, lobbyist, politician or consultant.

 

Y: Independence-seeking creatives. You prefer to have tons of freedom and flexibility in whatever you do. Sure it’s swell to earn money and receive accolades, but you would never be motivated to trade in freedom and independence for a very predictable routine. It is important to you to be able to be creative and innovative when solving problems. Careers that might appeal to you are artist, writer, musician, photographer, publicist, graphic designer, small business owner or creative entrepreneur.

G: World-improving helpers. You are motivated by a need to help others and better the world. Interacting positively with other people on a daily basis is essential to your happiness. It’s more critical to you to help people than it is to make money or receive praise. Careers that might appeal to you are physical therapist, nonprofit positions, doctor, flight attendant, social worker, personal trainer, teacher, nurse, veterinarian, travel agent, armed service member, firefighter or mediator.

R: Reward-driven responsives. You like to be rewarded for what you do by the factor that you consider to be most motivating: money. After all, isn’t that what you’re really working for? You tend to be very effective at any job, especially when your paycheck is directly tied to how hard you work. Jobs that might appeal to you are found in sales departments of companies where you can do what you do best, including marketing, ad sales, stock investing, sales management, high-end retail sales or founding your own startup.

Jenny Jedeikin lives in Northern California and her writing has appeared in San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Rolling Stone and In Style, among other publications.

PHOENIX FOCUS | March 2012 | THE MOTIVATION ISSUE

contents

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See this month’s cover >

Features


- The surprising truth about motivation

- Q & A with Stedman Graham


Onward and upward: Moving ahead
one step at a time

On the cover: Blazing a trail

Rosa Sherk, MBA ’08

Looking along a path that climbed from the farm fields of her childhood to multiple careers and college degrees, it’s safe to say this is one motivated alumna.

In this issue

Your Career

Alumni Profiles

Tim Tobin
A reservation for success

Diane Scanga
A law enforcement leader

David Fried

Amir Johnson

The Buzz

Published by alumni

Recognition

Extra! Extra!

Your University

University news

Campus news

Community relations

Events

Opportunities

Alumni Mentor Program

Everyone has a story to tell

University of Phoenix Leadership Circle

Alumni Association Benefits

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