• Dr. Abby Cobey

How to find motivation when you work in corporate America and they treat you like shit?

The human condition seems to require us to strive in order to feel satisfaction with our lives. The striving can happen in our personal or professional lives; this question specifically asks about work so I will focus on that here. Hopefully your home environment is one in which you feel safe and peaceful.

Professionally many of us seek stable employment so that we can count on our paychecks and health benefits. Great, the box is checked, everything is good, but now you find yourself unmotivated. You’re not interested in getting up in the morning and starting your daily grind. Motivation can come from the carrot of a potential promotion or a performance based raise. On the other hand many jobs do not have upward mobility. Perhaps you can count on a raise every few years but a promotion, change in responsibility or a sudden bonus check is out of reach.

In this scenario, I would encourage you to check in with why you took that job to begin with. Sometimes we pick jobs because they seem fun or interesting; sometimes we pick them because of the work life balance. Sometimes we just really needed a paycheck ASAP.

Next, ask yourself if the reason you took the position still holds up to scrutiny. Is the job fun, is it interesting, does it pay what you need it to pay? If the answer is no, then maybe it’s time to start job hunting again. The best time to look for a job is when you already have one. I have some clients who always circulate their resume even if they are happy in their current position.

If the answer is yes, and the job is still doing for you what you need it to do in order to make it worth staying but you’re just feeling unmotivated and bored, then again, remind yourself why you are keeping the job, circulate your resume because why not, don’t be afraid to talk with your boss about maybe throwing you some different work and also try to add fun and motivating things to the rest of your life.

Humans need to feel productive, like we are making a contribution. If work does not satisfy this then consider volunteering or adding challenges to your personal life. Do an Ironman, why not? But find something else to motivate you to get up in the morning and work is maybe the tool that allows you the freedom to do what brings you real satisfaction.


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