I recently read Drive by Daniel H Pink on the recommendation of our VP of HR West at Intact, Angela Champ. The book itself is a perspective-changing read on motivation and leadership. If you haven’t read it, there is a great 5-minute video that summarizes it’s concepts in YouTube:
One of the things the book reminds me of is a question a hiring manager asked me early in my career as a Business Analyst: What motivates you to do a good job?
This was not a question I had encountered before the interview. I took a moment to ask myself what truly does motivate me. The answer I came back with was perhaps idealistic, but my inner voice asked me a question back:“Who wants to show up at work to do a bad job? I want to succeed and accomplish because of the virtue of it, unless there are surmountable obstacles that prevent me from doing so.”
I provided my potential manager with a summarized version of this. The look on her face instantly told me that a reporting relationship between the two of us would not work. She wanted to know whether she could dangle a carrot of money, public recognition or promise of advancement to motivate me to achieve goals she had in mind. I wanted a manager who would remove obstacles so that I could charge forward with the inherent fire of motivation that burned within me.
So was my first lesson that an interview wasn’t unilateral. Through this experience, I realized that the recruitment process wasn’t just about impressing a potential employer. It was also about finding a leader, team and company that could support you. It was about finding a leader who you wanted to work for and work with. And before you can properly assess that, you need to understand your own motivations for seeking employment or a new job.