2020-06-14 - what drives us?

again – quite overdue mention, on interesting finding. some months ago a colleague at Qiagen did an interesting training on many non-technical aspects on technical work. the theme was revolving around the surprising truth about what motivates us. i highly suggest you watch it. even twice – just to make sure you have not lost anything along the way!

the first finding is that money DO motivate, as long as work you do is physical work. then it's pretty much linear – the more you are paid, the more you are motivated to do better.

the second finding is that is once you work require at least basic cognitive abilities, money are important ONLY up to the point where you no longer need to care for day-to-day living costs (think: place to live, food, etc…). once this is reached, according to cited research, not only money no longer motivate, but can show an inverted trend, where ppl yearning more actually do less.

so what actually DO motivate ppl, after reaching certain income level? there are 3 things:

  • autonomy – you want to be a master of your faith. you prefer to work on your ideas, rather than blindly implementing what/how you have been told to do. trust me – i'm an engineer!
  • mastery – you wont to reach higher and higher levels of mastery in what you are doing. alpha geek contest! :)
  • purpose – you need to believe in what you are doing. shitty job == shitty motivation.

note that this naturally pushes us into… open source world. it explains why ppl do open source and have tremendous fun out of it, even though typical net income of an open source project is negative (i.e. sometimes you do invest into HW/SW to complete it, not to mention time invested). ;) autonomy part is clear here. the part you learn new things and get better at it is mastery. being the change you wish to see in the world is all about the purpose (btw: i often think about non-money-driven society, but it's a story for another time).

another long overdue article on my TODO-list is about developing in IT. some years ago, having already reached “senior sth” position i was wondering: what's next? as i never wanted to be a manager and always wanted to stick with technical aspects on my daily work, how can i develop during office hours? my answer was – be a (part of) “special-ops” team, that is targeting its efforts on high-profile targets, where both time to execute and technical abilities are of a high value. this way you both have interesting and challenging tasks and have ability to work with the most skilled ppl around at the same time. this was what PTA team in Nokia was all about. it also is what my current position as a principal SW engineer in Qiagen is. i believe i'm heading in a right direction with these.

blog/2020/06/14/2020-06-14_-_what_drives_us.txt · Last modified: 2021/06/15 20:09 (external edit)
Back to top
Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0