By Joleen Little BVSc MRCVS
Stop and reflect: It is easy to forget your deeper motivations, so take the time to get back in touch with the bigger picture. Ask yourself, “Why did you want to become a vet?”
Focus on the positive: Focus your reflection on motivating successes, rather than setbacks. Read the thankyou cards from clients, rather than dwelling on that case that didn’t quite go to plan.
Remind yourself: Find creative ways to keep in touch with what motivates you. Create a poster, picture board, or mantra to keep this at the front of your mind.
Set specific goals: Motivations become (re)activated by setting specific goals. If a desired outcome seems overwhelming, try breaking it down into smaller, more achievable, goals (milestones). Reward yourself for achievement to provide positive reinforcement.
Challenge yourself: Vets by nature are intelligent, highly-driven people who can get bored easily. Challenge yourself to learn a new technique, read up on a case, attend online CPD events– or a hobby outside of work.
Pay attention to wellbeing: Motivation is both a predictor and a product of wellbeing, so pay attention to other aspects of wellbeing and life satisfaction. Try to leave work at work and find time to switch off. Physical exercise, meditation, mindfulness, and gratitude exercises can all increase motivation.
Get the work settings right: Are you finding the right level of variety, discretionary control, clarity, responsibility, challenge, learning, connectedness, feedback, recognition and reward at work? If not, make changes yourself or talk to someone who can.
Share with someone: Motivation can be increased by talking about it with likeminded people. Deliberately seek out a mentor, colleague or friend who has a positive work outlook, and remind each other about what motivates you, and goals you want to set for yourself.
Why is motivation important to employability?
Since motivation drives productivity and work effort, beneficiaries of your work such as employers, clients and colleagues will value the extra energy and effort generated without the need for external inducement. Motivation also influences many other employability factors, including commitment, diligence and continual learning. Perhaps most importantly, intrinsic and autonomous motivation has been shown to be a key factor supporting psychological wellbeing and resilience. In the longer term, sustaining motivation is important for job satisfaction, and preventing exhaustion and burnout.