#Retail Competency: Ability To Self-Motivate
I am pathologically self-motivated. I always have been. I graduated high-school one month after turning 16 because I was desperate to move on from traditional learning methods. I was hungry to see what was next. When first started in retail when I was 18 years old and was insanely motivated (and I worked with an amazing leadership team who saw how committed I was), I worked hard and crushed my job description and asked for additional responsibilities and within six months was promoted to a District Manager. Since then (over the course of many, many…many years) I have accomplished a lot in retail. I have learned a lot. I have continued to work on upskilling, learning, stretching to improve my professional growth. In those moments when I think I have conquered all there is to conquer I take on the next thing that scares me the most on my list and I work on that. (Case in point: starting a blog based on my work and passion of our retail industry).
It always (1) surprises and (2) concerns me when I hear employees say things like “What’s my motivation?” or “What’s in it for me?” – My answer is always the same “your future success”.
I subscribe to the philosophy that no one owes you anything …only you owe you something. You want to be great? YOU have to be dedicated, fierce, and fearless about your growth, your development, your future.
I love working with smart, passionate, driven individuals. They help to keep me focused and engaged. I am committed and eager to support the growth of those who are hungry for knowledge, experience, and expanding outside of their job description – that equals solid character and the ability to self-motivate. This also speaks to their work-ethic, integrity, and personal brand.
What characteristics best define a person who is self-motivated?
(1) They are open to making mistakes
(2) They make it a habit to finish what they start
(3) They are supportive coworkers
(4) They are never bored
(5) They LOVE a challenge
(6) They contribute
(7) They actively self-develop
(8) They are positive
As I have said previously – retail is not an industry that is known for robust training plans and development plans for their employees. We, generally, are hired because we possess the experience and competencies to be able to meet the job description of the role. Most people step into a role hoping for growth, hoping for career opportunities – hopefully you work in a retail organization that supports vigorous career and competency growth and your executive team believes in investing in their team’s future – in that case, you are more likely to get an equal contribution of motivation from your employer.
But your growth and development will only be as effective as the level of motivation and enthusiasm you bring to it. You should never expect to give anything less than 100%.
If you work in a company that is chaotic and development is not a priority, you will need to bring your ability to self-motivate yourself – without support. You need to find the reasons that make your job have meaning, that make you stand-out, that support your career growth. You cannot rely on anyone else to meet you half-way, and depending on how little of a priority development is…even 25% of the way. Being able to self-motivate is the only way to ensure that you maximizing your development potential.