On the surface, things often seem perfect – a great salary, a reasonable schedule, a stable job… But it’s also important to evaluate what’s going on inside. At the Happy PharmD, we have been reading up about the psychology of motivation lately. Abraham Maslow, the renowned psychologist, developed a theory that classified human needs in a hierarchical order. He observed the needs that drive our behaviors and motivations.
We have been wondering: what makes individuals love their profession and actually want to go to work? According to research, there’s a direct relationship between motivation and performance. We put together this blog to help you evaluate your motivation and check in to see whether the needs most important to you are regularly met in your current role. Everyone’s needs are different, but we are certain that when your needs are not met, it impacts your professional and personal life.
Here are a few questions that can help you assess your career health:
1. Do you feel adequately compensated for the quality of work you perform?
Compensation is a hot topic, and for pharmacists, we are fortunate to have a solid and well-established salary. But remember, it isn’t just the hourly rate: it includes financial packages, health insurance, and other lifestyle-related benefits. You should expect to be fairly compensated for the value you bring to the company. Have you felt like you are working more than what you are compensated for? Money is complicated, but people who constantly think about being underpaid experience lower morale and performance.
2. Do you feel valued by your superiors?
How well does management involve you in making decisions that directly affect how you do your job? Does your company only employ a top-down communication model that does not encourage feedback? Do you feel like employee feedback is taken seriously? Recognizing and commending employees for excellent performances makes employees valued and positively affects job performance. How important is it for you to have a voice?
3. Do you feel connected with the workers and management?
Are employee engagements encouraged at work? Do you feel part of something big when you interact with fellow workers? Humans are social creatures, and our productivity levels drop when we feel isolated at work. We need that sense of belonging and connection, and the workplace should be one place where we can find it.
4. Does work interfere with family time?
Depending on the stage of your career and in particular situations, family time may rank high up on your list of psychological needs. Not getting this need met will negatively impact how you go about your duties. For instance, spending extra hours at work while missing your son’s graduation or ball game can interfere with family bonding time. Do you have the flexibility in your role to take time for yourself?
5. Do you feel excited about or energized by the work you do?
While performing specific tasks can be difficult (and challenges can be motivating!), this should not be how you feel about your job on a regular basis. If your work does not excite you and you feel drained every other day, then a change of scenery may be beneficial in the long run.
6. Are there opportunities for growth at your current organization?
Do you see a clear career trajectory for yourself at the organization? Are you stuck at a level for years with no room for promotion? How important is it for you to improve your skills and/or earning capacity?
So how did it go? Which of the questions is most important for you right now? Are your needs being met? If not, is there anything you can do to change things in your current situation? We hope this set of reflection questions gives you some clarity on how healthy your current workplace is. Next time we will evaluate why it’s important to prioritize our needs and ourselves.
Alex is the Founder of The Happy PharmD. He loves anime, his family, and video games, but not in that order.