Quiz: What Motivates You?
We all have different intrinsic motivation at work. Some people are continually reaching for a higher level of personal best, others want to be recognized for being influential and still others want harmonious relationships with other people. Some look for continuity, consistency and predictability in their job, while others are motivated by risk, change, and uncertainty.
Through research with thousands of employees and leaders, we’ve discovered that there are five major motivations that drive people’s actions at work; Achievement, Power, Affiliation, Security, and Adventure. So take the test below to discover what motivates you.
What motivates you?
Through research with thousands of employees and leaders, we’ve discovered that there are five major motivations that drive people’s actions at work; Achievement, Power, Affiliation, Security and Adventure. There are numerous ways to assess and discover your own personal intrinsic motivation, from introspection to an online test that assesses those five drivers called “What Motivates You?”
To get you started, here’s an overview of each of the five big motivations:
WHEN ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATES YOU
People with a high need for achievement seek to excel. Their hunger for achievement isn’t fed by being better than others, but rather by continually reaching for a higher level of personal best. Achievement-motivated individuals avoid low-risk situations because the easily attained success is not a genuine achievement. Instead, they want difficult goals that demand intense effort and that challenge them to grow in new ways. Success is sweet for the achievement-motivated person, but true satisfaction is found in the demanding quest to reach that success. So while wins are something to be celebrated, you won’t find these individuals resting long on their laurels before they are off and running towards a new and difficult goal.
WHEN POWER MOTIVATES YOU
People who are driven by a need for power aren’t looking for a Napoleonic “I want to command the world” kind of dominance, but they do want to be recognized for being influential. They love to be in charge and will even choose a high-ranking title over money. They want to direct others and to hold the authority to make decisions that impact others. The need for power often includes a desire to be revered and followed.
WHEN AFFILIATION MOTIVATES YOU
People with a high need for affiliation want harmonious relationships with other people and they want to feel accepted by others. These individuals prefer work that provides significant personal interaction. They enjoy being part of groups and make excellent team members, though sometimes they are distractible into social interaction. Affiliative-driven individuals perform particularly well in customer service and client interaction situations.
WHEN SECURITY MOTIVATES YOU
People with a high need for security look for continuity, consistency and predictability in their job, work, and pay. They are driven by guarantees and may prefer to stay with the same company, or in the same position or department, for the long haul. High-security people often dislike change, especially when it feels too abrupt or disruptive.
WHEN ADVENTURE MOTIVATES YOU
People with a need for adventure are motivated by risk, change, and uncertainty. They thrive when the environment or the work is constantly changing. They tend to like challenges and jump at the opportunity to be the first to do something new. They don’t mind failure, especially if given the chance to try again. High adventure people often go out on their own. They may be entrepreneurs or freelancers. They are likely to change jobs and companies often, especially when they get bored or feel that they have “maxed out” their potential somewhere.
Once You Know What Motivates You
One of the great benefits of knowing what motivates you is that knowledge can help you find job search opportunities where you’re both likely to succeed and be deeply fulfilled. For example, Adventure-driven high performers want excitement and to be doing something new all the time. And they dislike doing work everybody else is already working on; it’s much more gratifying to be the first person to work on a project. So if you’re motivated by Adventure, a good job would be one where you work in a company or team where the projects are cutting edge, new and different.
By contrast, if you’ve got a high Security drive, a job seeker should probably avoid a job where your potential new boss says “Well, we don't know exactly how you're going to fit into this team yet, but just come on board and we'll figure that out as we go.” People motivated by Security prefer a clearly defined job description and duties.
To have a truly fulfilling role, and successful career, it’s a good idea to spend a little time reading these five motivations and seeing which one fits you best. Or go take the above test “What Motivates You?” The more you know yourself, the more likely you are to be a smart job seeker and select a good job (and career) that will inspire you to give your best effort every day.
how does a hiring manager assess your motivation?
Most companies have their favorite interview question to assess candidates' motivations. Here are some of the more common interview questions that a hiring manager might use to assess someone's intrinsic motivation:
--What motivates you to come to work each day?
--Can you describe a time when you felt particularly motivated and why you felt that way?
--What are your long-term career goals and how do they align with your personal values and motivations?
--How do you stay motivated when you encounter setbacks or obstacles at work?
--What type of work do you find most rewarding and why?
--How do you prefer to receive feedback on your performance?
--Can you tell me about a time when you had to take a risk in your work and how you managed the uncertainty involved?
--What type of work environment do you find most motivating and why?
--Can you describe a time when you took on a challenging project or task and what motivated you to tackle it?
--What type of recognition or rewards do you find most motivating in your work?
Each motivation question on that list above can provide insights into a candidate's dominant motivations and help employers assess whether a candidate's motivations align with the requirements and culture of the company. Now, virtually every job interview question on that list is subpar for a variety of reasons. (You should see the report 6 Words That Ruin Behavioral Interview Questions for a guide to creating a great job interview question). However, every job seeker needs to be prepared to answer every common interview question, because a hiring manager is likely to ask you at least one of those.
Here are some specific indicators that someone's motivation involves a high need for power:
They seek leadership roles: Individuals with a high need for power often seek out leadership roles and want to be in charge. They may have a desire to manage and direct others and be responsible for making decisions that affect others.
They value status and recognition: People with a high need for power value status and recognition. They want to be recognized for their accomplishments and may strive to attain high-status positions, titles, or accolades.
They are competitive: Individuals with a high need for power may be highly competitive and enjoy winning or being the best. They may seek out opportunities to outperform others or be recognized as the top performer.
They enjoy influencing others: People with a high need for power enjoy having influence over others. They may enjoy persuading others to their point of view, negotiating to get what they want, or even using their power to get others to do what they want.
They can be controlling: Individuals with a high need for power may have a tendency to be controlling and seek to maintain control over situations and others. They may resist being controlled by others and may feel uncomfortable when they are not in control.
They seek out high-risk opportunities: People with a high need for power may be drawn to high-risk or high-reward opportunities, as they enjoy the challenge and the potential for significant impact.
Overall, people with a high need for power are motivated by the desire to be in control and have an impact on others. They value status, recognition, and influence, and often seek out leadership roles or high-risk opportunities to satisfy their need for power.
Here are some specific indicators that someone's motivation involves a high need for achievement:
They are motivated by challenging goals: Individuals with a high need for achievement are often motivated by challenging goals and enjoy working towards objectives that are difficult to attain. They are driven by a desire to excel and exceed their personal best.
They seek out feedback: People with a high need for achievement value feedback on their performance and seek out opportunities to improve. They are often receptive to constructive criticism and use it to improve their performance.
They enjoy problem-solving: Individuals with a high need for achievement enjoy tackling complex problems and finding innovative solutions. They often enjoy working on projects that require creative problem-solving and a high level of effort.
They are results-oriented: People with a high need for achievement are often focused on achieving results and meeting their goals. They value tangible outcomes and measure their success by the results they achieve.
They are persistent: Individuals with a high need for achievement are often persistent and will persevere through challenges and setbacks. They are not easily discouraged and will continue working towards their goals even when faced with obstacles.
They are willing to take risks: People with a high need for achievement are often willing to take risks and try new things. They are not afraid of failure and are willing to take on new challenges even if they are uncertain about the outcome.
Overall, people with a high need for achievement are motivated by a desire to excel and achieve challenging goals. They are results-oriented, persistent, and willing to take risks. They value feedback and enjoy problem-solving, and they measure their success by the results they achieve.
Here are some specific indicators that someone's motivation involves a high need for affiliation:
They enjoy working with others: People with a high need for affiliation often enjoy working with others and prefer jobs that require frequent interactions with colleagues and clients. They value personal relationships and social interactions.
They are team players: Individuals with a high need for affiliation are often team players and are willing to cooperate and collaborate with others to achieve common goals. They value teamwork and tend to be good at building and maintaining positive relationships with others.
They are good listeners: People with a high need for affiliation tend to be good listeners and enjoy hearing the perspectives and opinions of others. They value feedback and are often receptive to constructive criticism.
They avoid conflict: Individuals with a high need for affiliation often try to avoid conflict and seek to maintain harmony in their relationships. They may be uncomfortable with criticism or disagreement and tend to prioritize maintaining positive relationships over expressing their own opinions.
They value social recognition: People with a high need for affiliation often value social recognition and may seek out opportunities to be recognized by their peers or colleagues. They may be motivated by praise, compliments, or other forms of positive social feedback.
They are empathetic: Individuals with a high need for affiliation tend to be empathetic and able to understand the emotions and perspectives of others. They may be good at providing emotional support to their colleagues or clients.
Overall, people with a high need for affiliation are motivated by the desire for positive social interactions and relationships. They value teamwork, are good listeners, and tend to avoid conflict. They value social recognition and are often empathetic and supportive of others.
Here are some specific indicators that someone's motivation involves a high need for adventure:
They are risk-takers: Individuals with a high need for adventure tend to be comfortable taking risks and enjoy exploring new opportunities. They may be more willing to try out new things and are not afraid of potential failure.
They enjoy variety: People with a high need for adventure enjoy variety and may feel bored with repetitive tasks or predictable routines. They tend to seek out opportunities that provide new experiences and challenges.
They embrace change: Individuals with a high need for adventure tend to embrace change and are often excited by the prospect of change. They may be more willing to adapt to new environments and are comfortable with uncertainty.
They are creative: People with a high need for adventure tend to be creative and enjoy exploring new and innovative ideas. They may be more willing to experiment with new approaches or methods and may be good at generating creative solutions to problems.
They seek out new experiences: Individuals with a high need for adventure tend to seek out new experiences and may be more likely to travel or try new activities. They may be interested in exploring new cultures or trying new foods and activities.
They thrive on challenge: People with a high need for adventure tend to thrive on challenge and enjoy pushing themselves to achieve difficult goals. They may be motivated by the opportunity to be the first to try something new or to achieve a challenging goal.
Overall, people with a high need for adventure are motivated by the desire for new experiences and challenges. They are risk-takers who enjoy variety and embrace change. They tend to be creative and seek out new experiences, and they thrive on challenge and the opportunity to achieve difficult goals.
Here are some specific indicators that someone's motivation involves a high need for security:
They value stability and predictability: Individuals with a high need for security often value stability and predictability in their work environment. They may prefer a consistent routine and may be more resistant to change.
They prioritize job security: People with a high need for security often prioritize job security and may prefer jobs that provide long-term stability and a sense of continuity. They may be more resistant to taking risks or making changes that could impact their job security.
They are risk-averse: Individuals with a high need for security tend to be risk-averse and may avoid situations that involve a high degree of uncertainty or potential risk. They may prefer familiar situations and may be uncomfortable with new or unfamiliar environments.
They prefer structure and rules: People with a high need for security often prefer clear rules and guidelines to follow. They may feel more comfortable when there are established protocols and procedures in place to guide their work.
They seek out guarantees: Individuals with a high need for security may seek out guarantees in their work and may value agreements or contracts that provide assurance and predictability. They may be more comfortable with a clear structure of expectations and may seek to avoid ambiguity or unknowns.
They value benefits and compensation: People with a high need for security may place a high value on benefits and compensation packages. They may prefer jobs that offer reliable health insurance, retirement benefits, and other forms of long-term financial stability.
Overall, people with a high need for security are motivated by the desire for stability, predictability, and assurances. They value job security, are risk-averse, and prefer structure and rules to guide their work. They seek out guarantees and value benefits and compensation that provide long-term stability.
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