BLUF: 22 aspiring pled (project assistant/team lead). Got a pay rise and an office, then lost interest in working.

I just can't motivate myself anymore. About 1-2 months ago I moved into my first office (the old directors one so its pretty la-de-da). Got a great performance reveiw and received a back dated pay rise... WHY AREN'T I MOTIVATED???

Well, I actually think I can answer my own question. I am still doing the same old thing, no change to the actual work that I perform.
I would rather a pay cut if I could progress my career!

Another reason for feeling the need to progress, is that I have learned so much from MT and I would really love to put it all into practise. I am itching to get going... just in a different role.

So, I'd like to look for a new job that would further assist my career... Catch is that I'm currently booked on a project until April 2007.

If I left now (or before the end) it would look bad and I probably wouldn't get a good reference from my PM (understandably).
If I stay, my work efforts will be well, crap. Most likely resulting in a poor reference also.
Is there a lesser of 2 evils?

Unless there is a magic way to motivate one at work?? Or maybe a Manager Tools way.

Has anyone felt this way? How did you get around it?

Sydney, Australia

Len's picture

Aimee, this is the kind of experience that will test your mettle...and your professionalism. It sounds as if you are determined to find a new position. So be it...and if you are no longer inspired by your work, then I wouldn't blame you. BUT, if you have a commitment to remain in your current position through April 2007, I would suggest that April really isn't all that far off. As we used to say in my business, "You can stand on your head until [fill in the blank..."April," in this case]."

Have I been in your shoes? Yes. More times than I care to remember. My advice: show your professionalism and dedication by coming to work every day determined that no one will ever know that you have lost your motivation. Resolve to finish your big project with a flourish, so that you can end on a high note. You'll be able to walk away with your head held high...and who knows? If you strive for a positive attitude, sometime along the path between December and April, you just might find your Mojo...


bradleymewes's picture


I think that is great advice.

Aimee, I completely understand where you are coming from. Oftentimes when we are told we are doing well it creates an ironically meloncholy response. I have noticed this feeling when I lack a definite objective yet someone in my organisation praises me for a job well done. I think to myself, what job and how was it well done????

I think what Len says about going out with a flourish is a great idea. You can still look for other work, but by focusing on completing the task at hand in an oustanding manner gives you a great marketing point on your resume. Now, with confidence, you can go to a potential future employer and say "hey look, i was unhappy with my position, it was not challenging me, but look at my great performance nonetheless". Personal motivation in the face of despair, now that is exciting to me as an employeer!

Good luck with that, and keep me updated to your progress.


aimee's picture

Sound advice.

Bradleymewes, your comment on lacking objective is spot on! In October I completed my section of the project and was begining to look around and go for interviews... then the PM requested that I run another section of the project through to April... but In my mind my job was done.

Len's comments on professionalism is what will push me across the finish line.

I find it difficult to motivate myself in easy, unchallenging roles- I absolutely thrive under pressure situations and challenges...

So, I herby challenge myself to motivate.. err myself. I will go on to complete the project, and I will make the most of my professional relationships during the next 4 months, to ensure that I leap off on a good foot.

Lets see, 4 months - christmas - new year - weekends = about 75 working days.

Sydney, Australia

ctomasi's picture


I can sympathize with you. I was in your position about 18 months ago. I agree with the others... stick with it and give it your best effort. You never know what's around the corner.

I was an unhappy, unproductive Sys Admin trying to be a Project Manager for a couple months. I was starting to job search when suddenly my boss was fired and the IT Manager position was available. Had it not been for those two bad months where I stepped forward and tried my best I may not be the happy IT Mgr I am today.

Perhaps some communications are in order with your PM and Manager? Have you talked to them? Do you have O3s? Perhaps they know opportunities to keep you motivated.

Gareth's picture

Don't you feel a successful end to the project would be an ideal foundation to fire into something new?

aimee's picture

Gareth, I do agree.

Ctomasi, opportunities are limited where I currently work- but then again you never know!

By the way, I haven't heard of an O3 :?:

Sydney, Australia

ctomasi's picture

O3 = One-on-One meeting. Sorry. My geek status is showing through again.

aimee's picture

Cool, thanks for that. Your geek status is nothing to be ashamed of here, I think everyone has a bit of geek in them (some more than others). Although I see the force is strong with you. :wink:

Sydney, Australia

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Nice work folks. Good advice for a fellow member.


Character is not what you take into a trial- it is what you bring out of it.

Work hard. Head down. Set an example. Deliver great results as part of your marketing plan if you choose to sell your services to someone else.

We don't pay you to be motivated, we pay you for results. The BEST people get great results even WHEN they've lost their mojo.

"Motivation" is a selfish and modern word. "Professionalism" is the watchword for top performers.