Understanding motivations for working (Part One: Candidates)

Everyone has various reasons for working. At Cogs, we connect talents to their next career opportunities. Discover your sense of purpose at work…

Motivations for job seeking

Do you know what you want in your career? Maybe you do and perhaps some of you can’t find an answer to this question.

This question and its various forms are raised during job interviews by employers to determine your motivations for joining them.

At Cogs, we’re always happy to connect talents to their next successful career opportunity. Over the years, we’ve worked with organisations of different shapes and sizes with recruitment and digital transformation and we noticed that there are 2 main types of job seekers: Value-based and Functional-based job seekers.

Our observations are shared in a research conducted by Imperative, who identified the 2 main reasons why people choose to work:

Reason 1:  Work for financial gain or personal status (We will term this group as the Functional-based job seeker.)

Reason 2:  Work to help others, contribute, or for personal fulfilment (And we will address them as the Value-based job seeker.)

How do you identify if you belong to either of these groups more than the other? Or are you a mix of both?

It is important to know what you want before you begin the lengthy search process. Having identified your reasons for being to work can help you speed up the process and reduce your frustration. Above all, you will more likely find the right role meant for you.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself before you proceed with your job search: 

  • What are you looking for in your career?
  • What are the top 3 things you look for in an employer?
  • When are you most happy in your current role? Why?
  • Do your values and beliefs align with the brand’s or company’s?
  • Are the leaders of the business people who inspire you?

These questions help you to recognise your real motivations and intent to move from your job.

You should now have a checklist of questions you can ask in your next interview.

How do you know if you are a functional-based job seeker?

When you are focused on aspects like money, location, team size, structured appraisals.

Asking yourselves the above questions will enable you to filter the companies you would want to work with.

It’s always better to write down your responses so you can isolate and observe the shifts in your thoughts and feelings in future.

If you are undecided on your next career move, why not browse all available openings on our jobs board. Alternatively, feel free to have a conversation with your local Cogs office here.

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