Your Biggest Motivator
What is your five-year plan? What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself
in the coming years? We’ve all been asked these questions before. At the heart of
them, the person asking them is trying to understand what motivates you—or if you
are motivated at all.
While I have a great deal of respect for those who are highly motivated, I’ve never
understood the thinking behind such questions. My response has never been that
I see myself doing job X at firm Y making Z amount of money by a certain date. I
see myself working hard and doing something great that brings meaning to me and
those around me. That goal is the same as it was yesterday and in the coming years.
I was fortunate to learn a good work ethic at a young age and to apply it to every
task that I do—no matter how mundane and dirty the job may be. I see that same
work ethic in Local 63 members. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard members
looking at a plant, road, pipeline, bridge, or some other project say, “I helped build
that!” They may not have been the mastermind behind it or engineered it, but they
contributed to its ultimate success.
Climbing the company ladder as a goal or a career motivator never made much
sense to me. But if you end up climbing the ladder as a result of your hard work
and doing the right thing, you can take satisfaction in knowing that your path was
motivated by the right reasons. The same satisfaction that you get when you look
back at projects you’ve worked on. Your career is the sum of many such projects
where you contributed your talents and energy to build things—big or small, fantastic
or mundane—that serve and help people.
So the next time someone asks you what your five-year plan is, or what your career
goals are, don’t hesitate to let them know that they’re the same as today—taking
pride in doing something great that brings meaning to you and those around you.