In December I had the pleasure of joining Jean-Michel Gauthier, founder of to talk about the importance of thinking about what motivates you when you are recruiting to or applying for jobs.

Mastering your motivation with Sarah Stones on Apli Podcasts – Job Bites

If you prefer to listen, you can listen to it here. For those who prefer reading, please see the transcript below.

In this episode we interview Sarah Stones, an expert on motivation. We discuss the various forms of motivation, and what you can do to redefine your motivation in times of change.

Welcome to Job Bites

Hello and welcome to another episode of Applies Job Bites.  I am Jean your host and with me on the show today is Sarah Stones.  Sarah welcome to the show. 

Thank you very much.

Sarah I’m delighted to have you on- the first thing that stands out to me is that you worked in HR in fact that you have a long and distinguished career in HR and recruitment.  You have also worked with a number of important charities doing incredibly important works supporting disabled individuals for example and now you do a lot of work with motivation…..and motivation is something that fascinates me.  It’s one of those things that we all talk about and it can be made to sound so simple and in some cases almost like the sort of superficial layer to things – it gets overused …but the reality is it’s a little bit more – it can be for some people it can be a little more complicated and it’s so important to be motivated – it makes a hell of a difference if you are motivated. Now, I have spoken to a lot of young people and I’ve asked what motivates you and some people really struggle to answer that question.  So in your view, and with your experience, what’s another really good way of going about finding what motivates you?

It is such a crucial question and actually we’ve all got 9 different motivators and the difference of the importance of them for us really impacts how we like to plan, how we like to manage change, whether we like change – it evens impacts on our preferred environment and the language we use.  We can look and see those 9 motivators and see which ones jump out for us or we can do a 10 minute on-line questionnaire called a Motivational Map that really enables us to not only find out what our motivators are, but importantly, how well they are currently being met.

I’m actually on your web site right now Sarah and I think it’s fantastic.  We will be linking your website in the Podcast description for any of our listeners who are interested. I’m looking at the 9 pillars right now.  So, if I follow correctly, someone who isn’t yet really sure about what makes them tick in terms of motivation there is light at the end of the tunnel.  There is a process that can be followed to help answer that question.

Completely, and actually it’s even so much as if you are really struggling to find out what it is you actually really want to do with you career  or even if it’s …I know what I want to do but I don’t know where I want to do it – because we all know organisations vary in their values and their goals and actually if we are working for an organisation that fits and really enables us to be the best that we possibly can be, then we are going to perform so much better and it’s going to be so much easier.  We all say it’s much easier to get out of bed if you are motivated.  If you enjoy what you are doing work becomes part of your life that you absolutely love.  I’m a strong believer that life is too short to not be doing a job that you enjoy.

I agree completely with that statement Sarah.  And in my experience it’s actually alarming how many people will reach a relatively late stage, right, maybe they are already mid-career before they really start to unwrap that top layer and ask themselves these questions: Am I actually motivated?  Do I actually like this?  Or is this not really not for me?  Is there a reason why people might not kind of kick this down the line and not address it?  It seems to me that the sooner you figure this out, the sooner you more likely are to love what you do.  Why is it that so many people find themselves at later stages in their career struggling with motivation?

I think there are two different things going on there one is, as you said before, intrinsic motivation has always been something that is really hard to get hold of and we can now make that invisible feeling that we have become visible.  But also our motivation changes as we go through life.  So you may be in a job that you really enjoyed and then suddenly the job has not changed but you are not enjoying it anymore.  And the likelihood is that your motivators have changed.  What satisfied your ‘needs’ which is what our motivators are, a few years ago, doesn’t satisfy them now and actually if we just take that step back and have a look and really reframe and review what we are doing and then actually think about what our strengths are, what our motivators are and what our skills are and then maybe just change track.  You mentioned I’m “Plain Sailing” I don’t know whether you have done any sailing but you have often get to tack if the wind is in a different direction and that’s what we’ve got to do with our careers ….and for some people with strong motivators where actually they like to know what they are doing, when they are doing it and how they are doing it – then change can be really scary.  Whereas for some motivators we think about doing some things and then we are off and doing it.  So our motivators will also impact on how long we will sit within a job that maybe we aren’t enjoying because actually, we are too cautious to make what can seem like a really big change.

I do love the sailing analogy.  I think that’s a really smart way actually of tying in with your brand there.  I did actually grow up sailing and it’s funny how good that analogy is because there are times when the wind changes and if you aren’t paying attention you change tack late and it’s probably actually a very apt analogy for people that some people when the wind changes and you are in the zone and paying attention you kind of get an immediate gage of that, an immediate read, and you want to take a swift change and other people will take much longer to realise and recognise that the wind has changed and I need to consider changing something else and realigning my motivation with that. 

And actually just taking that one step further – when the winds change before we tack we really slow down don’t we?

Oh yeah we do, we really do. 

Sarah there has been plenty of food for thought for our listeners from our conversation and obviously there is a wealth of resources available on your website which we will be linking in a description of this Podcast.  I’d like to thank you so much for coming on the show today. 

Thank you for inviting me.  You can tell I can talk motivation all day.  I’m so passionate about it!

I can tell and we definitely ran out of time on this one.  So thanks again for coming on the show and we hope everyone found this useful and insightful and we will catch you again on the next episode of Apli Job Bites.