What I really like most in my job as a management consultant is the variety of different projects and the required heightened ability of learning new things continuously and, furthermore to have deep-dives into these new topics.

As I think, there are not many jobs where you can grow that fast – personally and professionally – in a similar amount of time. Of course, there are also some disadvantages coming with this job (e.g. no nine to five hours, travelling, a higher stress level and heavy weight of expectations …). But, to put this into perspective – the balance of both, advantages and disadvantages is important to me. To be serious: this will always be a trade-off. As humans we always tend to make the best out of a situation and especially with trade-offs we always try to give our more favoured position a little more weight.

But how can we achieve more excitement (and so more engagement) in a job that is still a trade-off job? Or, just to rephrase this – how to get happier with your work and how to grow faster?

With this guiding question I started to think about what motivates me and what keeps me excited at work. I tried to be more aware in relevant situations and tried to focus on my individual excitement-drivers within these situations. Furthermore I reflected past projects which were fun and at which I experienced a special boost on my know-how.

I have found out that two basic aspects are driving my motivation and thus also my engagement as well as my thirst for knowledge. These two drivers are “what I’m interested in” and “what I am not already good at”.

Generally: I hope for my next project to be both: It is about something that is not (yet) part of my competencies and as well interesting from my personal point of view. Now, with those thoughts about motivation and ultimate engagement in mind I have sketched a simple matrix. Now, I can locate my current projects within this matrix. So I am able to assess current projects I am working on and reflect their contribution towards my ultimate engagement level.

So this matrix became my tool for managing myself and my long-term motivation. I always keep in mind to have at least one, howsoever small and internal project, to keep motivated over a long time period.

The engagement matrix shows the two main drivers of motivation (I observed in my own work-life).

 

Let me know what you think about this model and feel free to comment below.

Note: This model is about my personal drivers of motivation and considers neither academic nor statistical findings 😉