High Engagement at Work - David Bowles and Cary Cooper
CEOs, Motivation and Pay

Choosing the Right Job

I recently coached a friend of mine who was in a joyful an unusual position: he had three jobs he had been offered in a week, and when he saw me he had to decide which one he was going to accept! Hmm – nice. And it may be not as unusual as we think; talented people are going to be besieged by offers because they are talented and because talent can make a massive differnce to the bottomline. What did we do then to resolve the issue?

First, we did a Motivational Map and established that my friend’s top three motivators were, in rank order, making a difference, freedom and autonomy, and belonging. So the question then was to examine each of three job offers in some detail and ask, How likely were they to be able to fulfil each motivator in turn. In fact we drew a grid: across the top heading the three columns were the names of the companies, A, B and C. And in the three rows down the lefthand side we had the names of the three respective motivators. In Map language they are called, respectively, Searcher, Spirit and Friend.

The question then was: based on your knowledge of these three companies and your visits/interviews with them, out of ten, how would you rate your likelihood of a. being able to make a difference (in each of the three companies), being able to have freedom and autonomy in your work, and finally to feel that you will ‘belong’, have a home at work as it were, where you will feel valued?

This produced a remarkable set of results. For the Searcher the scores were: A/4, B/5, and C/6; for the Spirit, A/3, B/5 and C/8; and finally for the Friend, A/6, B/6 and C/7. We then tallied these scores and from a maximum of 30 points possible (high being better), company A scored 13, company B 16 and company C 21. What had been an agonising puzzle, suddenly became crystal clear, and my client and friend went on to take company C’s offer.

A couple of points are worth observing about this process. First, that we all really know the answers to our problems – know deep down, but accessing this information is not always easy. A good coach combined with a good self-perception inventory like Motivational Maps can make a huge difference in terms of outcomes. For Motivational Maps prides itself on being a diagnostic that makes the invisible, visible: that’s right – we see the 10% of the iceberg which is us, but beneath the surface the real us, the 90%, is not so clear or visible. Motivational Maps can bring this to the surface.

Second, the Map technique highlighted which of the motivators was likely to cause the root problem. In this case it was the second – company C’s score for freedom was 8, significantly ahead of the A and B, whereas their scores for Searcher and Friend were more closely bunched. Thus, this really can aid in client self-awareness, for it will be highly likely –as it proved to be in this case – that lack of freedom and autonomy is persistent problem in employment that had never been addressed. Indeed, had been accepted as that is just how work is – a reality of life. This belief when one starts analysing in more detail is clearly false – it is possible to work and achieve freedom, but one has to be more selective.

I recommend all coaches and consultants use Motivational Maps if they are helping clients make the right career choices – it is invaluable.



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