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An article in Harvard Business Review entitled, “How Company Culture Shapes Employee Motivation,” refers to research that determined six reasons why people work. Three of the reasons increase performance and three impede it. What are your motivations around work?

Here are those six reason why people work. Do any resonate with you? (Profs. Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, Univ. of Rochester

Play: Motivated by the work itself. Work is enjoyable and nurtured by curiosity, experimenting, and exploration of challenges.

Purpose: What you do aligns with who you are and what you value. You see the vision of the impact your work has.

Potential: Work fuels your opportunities and benefits your identity.

Emotional Pressure: You work from an external force such as shame, other people’s expectations, fear, etc., the motivator is not related to the work you do.

Economic pressure: You gain a reward and/or avoid a punishment. Often your work is not in line with your motives or identity.

Inertia: You work at something because you’ve always done it and you don’t even know why you’re doing it.

Not surprisingly, the first three motivators contribute to a thriving work experience, while the final three hinder it. Consider what motivates you to work specifically as a Realtor. You could have chosen any profession why real estate? If you connect with your why AND your what, they will inspire you to do hard and less comfortable things for the sake of joy, satisfaction, fulfillment and the contribution you make.

Conversely, if you’re in real estate just to earn money fast, you didn’t know what else to do, or to please someone else, then you might want to dig a bit deeper to find what resonates with you. This way your inspiration and joy come from within no matter what the market does.

Here are some questions to contemplate when you consider your motives for work:

  • What do you want to experience as a Realtor, what values does the profession align with?

  • How are you inspired to try new things and take risks for the sake of what you believe/value?

  • Are you an ambassador for the profession, or a drained, burnt out example of getting stuck in a busy rut?

  • What is your vision for your business and professional growth?

  • How do you have fun in your work?

Take the time to get to know yourself and what drives you. What you discover can make all the difference in how you show up for work and much satisfaction you experience.


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