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Is Reluctance To Pursue A Career Normal? - Image
Is Reluctance To Pursue A Career Normal? - Image

Video: Is Reluctance To Pursue A Career Normal? - Image

Video: Is Reluctance To Pursue A Career Normal? - Image
Video: Never Fight For His Attention! Do This Instead 2023, December

In my office sits a young man who works as a sales manager for a large company. He started working there right after graduation, so his experience is decent

Slightly stammering, he talks about his situation: “The fact is that we had two different departments - sales and supply. But the management decided to combine them. My boss didn't like this, and he went to the competitors. Pyotr Ivanovich was appointed the head of the joint service, but he is already of retirement age, and his health problems began. As a result, he is also going to quit. The CEO called me and asked if I would like to head the department …"

Unnecessary gifts of fate

I smile and ask, “So this means that you can be congratulated on your promotion? This is great! " He sadly replies, “This is the problem… I don’t want to become a leader. As if something inside me forbids. I said I needed time to think. Gendir is a touchy person. If I refuse now, I will end up on the “black list” for a long time, and then I won't see any career improvements. My wife told me that only a fool would refuse such an offer. But my current position suits me; I absolutely do not want to climb up. Tell me, is it okay? Or is there something wrong with me?"

To get an answer to this question, I propose to conduct a simple experiment. Take a sheet of paper, draw a vertical line in the middle. On the left we write all the "minuses", and on the right - all the "pluses" that are expected in life if we accept the offer for a raise. There are twice as many “pluses” (among them there is a high salary, and respect of colleagues and relatives, and a new achievement that you can write on your resume, etc.), but for some reason they do not improve the mood of my interlocutor. At the level of reason, he understands that a new position must be "taken", but at the level of emotions this gift of fate does not please him at all.

Life can give us unexpected gifts, but we need an inner willingness to use them. If there is no such readiness, then, as a rule, our motivation system is the source of resistance

What it is? These are our needs, desires and dreams, goals and values. These are internal structures that determine what we really want and what we categorically avoid.

Achievements, involvement, power

Psychologists have been studying the motivational sphere for more than a decade. Back in the 1930s, American psychologist David McClelland developed the theory that human behavior is governed by three basic motives: achievement, belonging and power. McClelland considered the motive of achievement to be the key motive for the development of a person and society as a whole (he even wrote the monograph “Society for Achievement”). In labor activity, the achievement motive leads to the fact that a person strives to do his job with high quality, improve his qualifications, solve more and more complex tasks, etc. growth.

But what about the other two motives - power and involvement? McClelland was convinced that the more pronounced the motivation for achievement among members of society, the more progressive society as a whole. Achievement motivation is a real “engine of progress”, which cannot be said about power motivation or involvement. The motives of power or involvement do not develop (a person or a society) but “conserve”, ensure the stability of the system.

Excessive motivation of the authorities gives rise to careerists, authoritarian leaders, and in extreme cases, dictators and tyrants

If an organization is headed by a leader who is dominated by the motivation of power, the organization very quickly turns into a kind of concentration camp in which all employees are under total control. An excess of motivation for involvement creates too passive, accommodating and conformable people living by the principle: “I am like everyone else; my hut is on the edge - I don't know anything. " Such conformists do not like "upstarts" (who "break away from the team") and themselves are not interested in any career growth in order to "not stand out."

Is reluctance to pursue a career normal 2
Is reluctance to pursue a career normal 2

And now the most interesting thing: how exactly are these very basic motives (achievements, power, or involvement) formed? Where do they come from? In part, these motives are innate, biologically determined (ethology and sociobiology confirm this).

But if we are talking about work, then the main source of the formation of motivation is the social environment itself (that is, the organization). The organization forms a motivational environment in which certain motives are supported and encouraged. Motives that do not correspond to the organizational culture and values of the organization are not encouraged or even suppressed (with the help of psychological and other sanctions).

Choose the desired motive

Let's go back to the situation that was described at the beginning of this post. At first glance, the situation is positive: the young employee is offered a well-deserved promotion. He loves his job, treats it conscientiously, has established himself as a reliable, efficient and qualified specialist.

The motivation for achievement is most pronounced for him, in the second place is the motivation for participation, and the motivation for power is very insignificant. The employee understands all the "advantages" of the future promotion, but still does not seek to get it.

The situation looks paradoxical: there is motivation for achievement, but there is no desire to realize it with the help of a higher position. Some kind of logical dead end! But in fact, the situation becomes clear if you expand its scope, look, as it were, "from a bird's eye view."

I continue to ask the employee about the situation in the organization, what kind of relationship he has with the management, what is important to be considered a “successful employee”, etc. We try to identify all the motivational factors operating in this organization. And this is what turns out …

It turns out that the CEO is a typical tyrant leader, for whom the main thing is the motivation of the authorities. The heads of departments in this organization were a kind of "miniature copies" of the leader, that is, they harshly controlled their subordinates with a firm hand. The majority of ordinary employees were motivated by involvement. They are accustomed to unquestioningly obey the leadership and "not stick out."

Note that our protagonist has the achievement motive in the first place. As he himself explains, this became possible only due to the fact that he had good personal relations with his immediate boss (the one who, as a result of the merger of departments, left and went to competitors).

The general (who will become his immediate boss if he agrees to a new position) is more interested in discipline, signs of respect and unquestioning obedience.

As our character said, “Instead of doing what I love to do - negotiating with clients, I will need to tightly control my colleagues. Yesterday we were friends with them, and tomorrow I will have to tyrannize for delays and errors in documents. The General believes that everyone should be afraid of me. In his opinion, this is the main criterion of respect for the leadership. Moreover, he is interested not so much in real achievements as in ostentatious loyalty. We have employees with rather mediocre results, but who know how to suck up to their superiors. If I were a leader, I would fire such people in the first place. And I'll have to encourage and promote them because my boss likes them. To be honest, it's just disgusting for me to do this, I will be out of tune with my conscience …"

So is reluctance to pursue a career normal?

The motivation system of a person is complex and multifaceted. In addition to obvious motives (like striving for high achievements and a career), we also have values that act as a high-level regulator over motives. It can be conscience and genuine dedication to the interests of the cause. When a person realizes that his promotion will have negative consequences both for the organization and for himself

And here is an exhaustive answer to everyone who has an acute question: "Is it normal not to climb up, not to accept profitable (at first glance) career offers?" Yes, it is normal. But only if you consciously make a decision and know its value.

The price in this case lies in the consistency of your personal motives with the motivational environment of the organization. If there is no critical discrepancy between them, feel free to accept the new position! If you have good reason to believe that this is "not what I would like", that you will have to do something contrary to your motivational attitudes, then it is better to refuse.