Feeling stuck in your job? Find out what motivates you. And follow your passion to find a more fulfilling career. Could your personality hold the answer?

Do you… Love your work? Do the work you love? Or, work to do the things you love?

I was asked, early on in my career, “If you had no restrictions or financial obligations what would you do?”. As exciting as that question sounds – for someone with High Energy and Low Control – it is quite daunting. But it has got me thinking.

What motivates us to do what we do?
And how does our personality guide and enable us?

Does our personality influence our motivations?

What is a motivator?

A motivator is something that drives and compels us to action. And it’s these, often subconscious, catalysts that act as a spark. Focusing our attention and desires. With these intrinsic types of motivation, the behaviour itself is often the reward we seek.

So, it makes sense to turn inward to understand our own personalities. And unearth the clues to the types of behaviour that motivate us at work.

When we understand:

  • Our strengths
  • How we like to work
  • What we like to do and
  • Where we thrive…

…we bring conscious choice to our careers.

And by providing a language and description of our motivators we start to build a career plan that works for us. Not ‘just’ a job – or even a series of jobs. But an ongoing journey with intention and pleasure.

How does Facet5 help us understand career motivations?

Different people require different things from their careers – and for different reasons. (It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell us this). So, it seems reasonable that when we seek out these essential elements, our work will seem more interesting and satisfying. And our motivations higher.

At Facet5, we have examined those things that lead people towards one career – and away from another. Each Facet5 factor or family will have a different set of drivers.

Facet5 is a trait-based measure of personality. And we look at the fundamental building blocks of personality. To help us understand and describe an individuals:

  • Strengths
  • Potential risks
  • Frustrations
  • Motivators and
  • De-motivators.

You can find out more about our model here

Let’s look at the core career drivers for the 5 Facet5 factors:

Will: The driving force behind the promotion and defence of your own ideas

High Will

People with High Will set a career direction early on. They are frequently very sure of this direction, make decisions and stick to them. They want to feel they are influential. That their views are well respected. And that they have the opportunity to shape, direct and control people and situations. They aspire to create something of their own, which has their name on it. And which reflects their views and philosophies.

Low Will

People with Low Will have a different set of drivers. They are often more team-oriented. With an emphasis on collaboration, joint decision making and a strong collegiate atmosphere. They prefer jobs where making decisions through discussion and without argument is commonplace. And where compromise brings about the best solutions.

Energy: the extent to which we need to interact with people

High Energy

People with high Energy usually identify with roles that have entrepreneurial elements. Team leadership, collaboration and persuasion are often aspects of roles that appeal most. They tend to stay in an area until they feel they have explored it as far as they want. Then become attracted to something different. This offers a change and an opportunity to learn new and exciting things.

Low Energy

People with Low Energy are happier working within their area of professional or technical skills. They prefer to allow their efforts to speak for themselves. Seeking the freedom to develop their own ideas in an area of specialism. For people with Low Energy, time and space to focus on what is important are key. As is choosing the company of like-minded people.

Affection: the degree to which you are ‘self’ or ‘others’ focused

High Affection

People with high Affection prefer their work to have intrinsic value. And some meaning to society at large. Such people develop their careers gradually. Broadening their range as they find interesting alternatives to what they are doing. A sense of companionship, team membership – and the ability to help others – are all motivators.

Low Affection

People with low affection see careers in a much more personally focused way. They see them as a means to an end and need to be able to get quick tangible rewards for the work they put in. The opportunity to be seen to shine in a competitive sense with work that has simple, clear objectives which are not open to interpretation. Other motivators can include the chance to build their own business – and reap the rewards from it.

Control: The measure of self-discipline and responsibility you have

High Control

Those with high Control develop their careers in a logical and planned way. They like to know where they are going and to see that they are on track. The ability to delay reward makes them well suited to long-term career-planning in large organisations. They often prefer work that requires precision and care – so they can be sure to deliver a professional result. A system or schedule to stick to so they know where they stand. And an orderly workplace with adequate resources will all top the list of motivators for high Control.

Low Control

People with low Control have a very different attitude to careers. They are strong individualists. And therefore, are going to prefer work that lets them do their “own thing”. They often don’t fit into traditional corporate environments. Preferring more radical and open climates. A relaxed atmosphere without too many rules and regulations. The freedom to work on “concepts” rather than the details of implementation. And working with individualists who are radical and innovative – like them – will motivate and engage low Control individuals.

The role of Emotionality

Emotionality is a key factor within the Facet5 model. Acting as an interpreting factor we use it as a lens to understand the other factors. Emotionality measures the level of tension and apprehension we carry around with us on a day-to-day basis. It helps us understand how permeable we are to the world around us and the resulting impact on the person and those around them.

The link between Emotionality and careers focuses on the level of confidence and self-efficacy that underpins the desire and willingness to manage the change and uncertainty that can come with careers. Higher Emotionality looks for more certainty and the ability to control or moderate the impacts around them. Low Emotionality are generally more confident in their own capabilities with a greater willingness to give things a go.

Whatever your personality, understanding what motivates you is an essential element of any career plan – or career coaching conversation. Using a robust measure of personality that provides you with an easy-to-understand language and meaningful insights can go a long way to supporting a career plan that works for you – whatever that may be.

So, take some time and ask yourself –

  • What type of work do I gravitate to?
  • What is it about that that I enjoy and find motivating
  • What do I find effortless? And
  • What do I avoid and why?
  • How does it make me feel?

Try summarising these elements into a short personal statement – start with “I am motivated when I… ”

Also, combine with your Strengths statement (See our LinkedIn strengths article here) to build a fuller picture of you and what you love to do.

Finally, remember while we think that everyone should have a Facet5 profile it is not the sum of you. You are made up of an amazing range of experience, skills, knowledge, history and career aspirations yet to be realised. Tap into these in your career planning process.

At Facet5, we believe when we understand ourselves, truly understand, we can realise our full potential.

Grant Gemmell,
Managing Director, Facet5

Read more career articles from Facet5 – see below

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