Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

I want to enjoy my profession...

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I want to enjoy my profession...

    Under the What's your biggest challenge thread a number of people have pointed to the fact that their NA list doesn't motivate them to take action.

    I am in the same boat at least on my @work list. My job (IT Service Support Manager with 20+ staff members) just doesn't do it for me.

    I don't want to change jobs because my job is close to home and pays reasonably well - I have a young family and these are important to me.

    Hence my choice is to stay where I am - but my lack of motiVation is leading to procrastination which is leading to a lowering of my performance level (from a previous "exceeder" to an "achiever").

    So, I am asking for help. I don't want to change jobs. I do not have faith in the direction the company (global IT) is heading in and there is really nothing about my day job that motivates me. I spend most of my time handling my e-mail and, although I could make the time, do not have enough motivation to act on the pro-active projects that would enhance my performance level.

    Hints and tips most welcome (or if anyone just wants to share their similar situation then please feel free).

  • #2
    Extremely well paid job but no motivation.

    The situation seems to be even worse if you are paid extremely well for the job you are not excited about.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is there anything about your job that you enjoy, or could enjoy?

      Have you discussed your feelings with your boss?

      Comment


      • #4
        Is there anything about your job that you enjoy, or could enjoy? No (honestly)


        Have you discussed your feelings with your boss? Yes. He does not want me to leave because he knows he would have difficulty back-filling. There are other positions within the company but, to be honest, my feelings towards the compacy are such that I don't find any of the positions inviting. I really need a change but I guess I have placed my own constraints in terms of location and pay. Perhaps the key here is to change my perception of the company - I need to find something to do with the company's values that I can really connect with. It doesn't help that my co-workers (and even my boss) all feel very much the same way. Basically our company invests nothing in its people - it is all about keeping the share-holders happy. This has been the case for several years now (following the Year 2000 boom in the IT industry).

        Comment


        • #5
          Be the shareholder if it is possible.

          Originally posted by jac
          Basically our company invests nothing in its people - it is all about keeping the share-holders happy.
          So you should be the shareholder if it is possible. In many companies employees-shareholders have better motivation.

          Comment


          • #6
            If you and all of your coworkers are unhappy, there's a good chance your job isn't as stable and secure as you might like. Either the company's performance will start to slide, or you'll get outsourced, or both. Either way, poor performance on your part due to lack of motivation will make you more vulnerable if there's a reduction in force.

            Looking for another job, whether you actually take it or not, might help you decide either (a) that better jobs exist that also meet your location and pay requirements or (b) maybe your current job isn't so bad after all.

            If you do decide to stay, one solution might be to find something in the work itself that is absorbing enough to distract you from the overall environment. What that is depends on the nature of the work, of course, and I know nothing about IT. But maybe there's something on your Someday/Maybe list that you'd love to do if you only had the time. Fact is, you do have the time: time "wasted" on a Someday/Maybe project is no worse than time wasted on your email.

            Good luck!

            Katherine

            Comment


            • #7
              You post a number of strong reasons why you want to stay. Though at the end of the day they may be bogus ... your underlying values will push/pull you in the "natural direction" you wish to go. In the meantime your performance as you note has slid. There gets a point, particularly if you have 20 people under you, where the powers to be will deliver an ultimatum ... either improve or leave.

              In the short term, if work does not "rock your boat" find a activity outside of work that you can throw your passion into. That way the job becomes the rent money that allows you to do something that you want to do.

              Additionally, though you appear not to be motivated, take up some of the projects that will improve your performance. Just handling the routine is a recipe for disaster. Plus with 20 people under you, you should have the time to find 1 or 2 projects within your firm that gets you motivated.

              If after all of the above, you're still in the same place ... do yourself a favor and find a new job.

              Comment


              • #8
                Similar Situation

                jac,

                You sound like you work for my company, especially the comment about the company not investing in its people. But then again, most Americans in the IT industry feel about the same. I wouldn't worry about your performance appraisal. You are becoming a more senior employee. The company is going to do what it can to keep a lid on the growth of your wages including making it progressively more difficult to get a good performance review. I went through several years of getting "medium" appraisals and zero percent raises (because my salary was above the midpoint) no matter what I did. After a while I just stopped caring. The fact that I was getting zero percent raises, and our CEO was getting eight-figured bonuses didn't help, either.

                What returned me to a reasonable level of commitment was that I tried to reconnect to the reasons why I got into IT in the first place. I like learning new things. I like to design and build software systems. I like dealing with broad problems that involve business and technical issues. So now I emphasize those aspects of the assignments I am given. I also look for assignments that emphasize those things.

                Another thing I did was to stop being angry about what the company did. They are going to do what they are going to do. Whether or not I allow that to make me miserable is my decision, and I decided not to. I released the anger I had for them and got on with things. As employees, we're virtually powerless to influence the company's direction let alone the economic and geopolitical forces that are driving many of them. We just have to take or leave whatever deal we're offered. We both decided to take the deal.

                I have found it useful to remind myself (sometimes frequently) that I'm here because I decided to be. Like you, my job pays fairly well and is a short commute. We also just built a new house which my wife absolutely loves, so relocation is out. But that's my decision. I'm not a hopeless victim. You can start making yourself feel like one if you start to describe your situation to yourself in terms of being boxed in and helpless. You can get out of that by reminding yourself that oftentimes we create unsolvable problems for ourselves by our refusal to consider all of the alternatives that are available to us.

                There is a saying in system theory that globally optimized is not locally maximized. Your thinking is motivated by a number of factors that have nothing to do with work. It is not reasonable for you to expect a wonderful work situation because you are not willing to find a better one. And you're not willing to find a better one because your willingness is being driven in part by factors other than your work life. When things get bad enough at work, you may find that the calculus has changed, and that you will be willing to make a move and to do whatever you have to do to make it happen.

                Writing this has been rather therapeutic for me. I hope you find something useful in it.
                Last edited by Scott_L_Lewis; 06-21-2006, 11:13 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This may be a non-starter as it would take up a lot of your time. And you may well answer "got lots of IT qualifications already" - but have you thought of an (advanced) education course in IT/software ? Maybe one project based , where you can link to a possible project at work to enhance the interest.
                  As to the routine things - can you delegate anything?

                  Just my 10 c

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jac,

                    I was one of those people on the other thread, and your situation reminds me a lot of my own. There are some differences, though, as my commute is much longer (which makes it even worse).

                    I've thought about finding another job, but there aren't any that are closer to my home. Besides, it's not necessarily the job or the company that I dislike - it's my profession in general. I, too, make enough money where a career change just isn't financially feasible right now.

                    Like you, lack of motivation is the main reason many of the things on my lists don't get done. I just don't have any urge whatsoever to move on them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Altitude Sickness

                      I struggle with nearly the identical issues, except in my own profession (law), and for nearly the same reasons (good pay, family needs, original career goals achieved). Before I picked up GTD, I would have called it a slump, a midlife crisis (and I am approaching the Big 4-0), maybe "top of the mountain syndrome," where I have achieved my career goals too soon. Now I would say that I am struggling with issues/decisions at the higher altitudes, up around 50K somewhere, and I have been up here so long it is causing altitude sickness!

                      In 1990, I wrote a Covey-based mission statement -- "to be a successful partner and trial attorney in a respected medium-size law firm in my hometown." I achieved that goal approximately five years ago. Since then, I have been struggling with motivation/passion/interest at work, where my only "goal" appears to be to keep going for another 20-25 years. That goal is not enough to sustain me. And without the passion, drive, and motivation of a goal, I too have fallen from an "exceeder" to mere achiever. Where I once felt like I was working on meaningful legal issues, and acting as an outstanding trial attorney and zealous advocate for my clients ... I now feel like a cog, a tool for people fighting about money, leaving nothing in my wake except some type of dispute resolution and a pile of legal bills.

                      I thought that, perhaps, if I were more organized and efficient at my job, it would regenerate passion and re-energize my law practice (hence why I came here and started using GTD). But if anything, the GTD methodology has shown me that I have to make the hard decisions at the higher altitudes, or else I am wasting my time trying to implement any system. I remember a thread here discussing whether Covey is useful/effective and compatible with Allen/GTD, and perhaps I am Exhibit A for answering that question in the affirmative. Notwithstanding all of the terrific advice, information, and guidance I have received from the book and the members here about getting things done (special thanks to Katherine and Brian), I feel like I cannot actually move forward with GTD until I make some decisions and commitments at the higher altitudes.

                      So perhaps we procrastinate and underachieve because we know that, ultimately, we are not going to be satisfied with the outcome, no matter what it is. There is no emotional reward because we have no direction, no goal, no purpose beyond "stay the course." Without real decision-making at the higher altitudes, we lack the drive, passion, and motivation to actually get back to work at ground zero. At least for me, I have felt like I have been spinning my wheels in a career rut since achieving my original career goal. I am certainly not helpless or a victim or without alternatives, but it is far more difficult to modify decisions at the higher altitudes when you are a happily married father of three young children, rather than a 20-something student who got his hands on Seven Habits ... maybe I should have stuck with the first draft of a Mission Statement ... "Write the Great American Novel.").

                      Not sure this helps beyond comisseration ... but wanted to let you know that you are not alone.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What if you took on a project that should provide value to the company, but is completely different than what you do now? Are there any projects like that?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Brent
                          Is there anything about your job that you enjoy, or could enjoy?

                          Have you discussed your feelings with your boss?
                          This is the best advice you can get! When I was experiencing a similar problem I took this advice and it toally paid off, my motivation came back and I am once again exceeding expectations.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Do not try to be a company's parent.

                            Originally posted by Scott_L_Lewis
                            Another thing I did was to stop being angry about what the company did. They are going to do what they are going to do. Whether or not I allow that to make me miserable is my decision, and I decided not to. I released the anger I had for them and got on with things. As employees, we're virtually powerless to influence the company's direction let alone the economic and geopolitical forces that are driving many of them. We just have to take or leave whatever deal we're offered. We both decided to take the deal.
                            I fully agree with that. Do not try to be a company's parent (I've made this mistake at least two times). It is OK at the garage start-up stage. But in the case of the grown-up company let it live its own life - not necessarily fulfilling all your expectations. You should do your best to help the company not to make too many mistakes but you cannot prevent it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Great post - worth reading several times.

                              Originally posted by Bluesman
                              So perhaps we procrastinate and underachieve because we know that, ultimately, we are not going to be satisfied with the outcome, no matter what it is. There is no emotional reward because we have no direction, no goal, no purpose beyond "stay the course." Without real decision-making at the higher altitudes, we lack the drive, passion, and motivation to actually get back to work at ground zero. At least for me, I have felt like I have been spinning my wheels in a career rut since achieving my original career goal. I am certainly not helpless or a victim or without alternatives, but it is far more difficult to modify decisions at the higher altitudes when you are a happily married father of three young children, rather than a 20-something student who got his hands on Seven Habits ... maybe I should have stuck with the first draft of a Mission Statement ... "Write the Great American Novel.").
                              You whole post is great and worth reading several times.

                              What to do next when your biggest dreams came true? Dream bigger dreams or find new goals on a different career path?

                              How much risk of failure are you ready to take? Is it worth it?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X