How intrinsic motivation increases meaningful participation

Intrinsic motivation can be a powerful driver for people navigating the journey toward employment.

This type of motivation, which comes from within and is fuelled by personal satisfaction and passion, can be a game-changer in a job search.

And tapping into it is the key.

When individuals are intrinsically motivated, they approach their job hunt with a sense of purpose and enthusiasm. This internal drive can inspire them to explore opportunities and potential employers that they may not have considered previously. It can also encourage them to tailor their applications thoughtfully and confidently prepare for interviews.

Rather than being motivated solely by external rewards such as salary or job title, intrinsically motivated individuals focus on finding roles that align with their values, interests, and long-term career aspirations.

For frontline staff, understanding and aligning their clients’ values and strengths can be a powerful strategy for driving motivation. Setting goals and aspirations is more effective when values and strengths are working in sync, and clients feel in control of their decisions.

Building trust means we can better understand our clients’ values and strengths, which makes goal-setting easier.

Unpacking values

“Why is that important to you?”

This is an excellent question to ask your clients to help them understand their internal drivers or values. Values are the things that are most important to us. And we want to understand the feelings associated with them. For example, having a car might be important because it gives us a feeling of freedom, security or control. Our family might be of high value because it gives us feelings of love, belonging, or happiness. Money might be a value because it gives us the feeling of achievement, success or comfort.

Aligning strengths

The personal attributes or skills that give your clients energy and help them perform tasks easily are known as strengths. Knowing your strengths is like having superpowers. Strengths help you perform to the best of your ability and achieve positive outcomes. When clients know their strengths, they feel more confident in their abilities. Aligning strengths with your clients’ values is the ultimate engagement strategy for boosting confidence and motivation. For example, having a strength in creativity and a value of flexibility may mean finding a job that allows the person to work on creative tasks, but with flexibility in hours or location. This is the ideal employment outcome for the individual.

Influencing aspirations

Asking your clients to set goals may feel hard or even overwhelming. Some people may see ‘goals’ as big, difficult, unachievable or even impossible because that’s how they filter it through their model of the world. Talking about aspirations or outcomes might be a more effective way to engage your clients. Aspirations give people something to be hopeful for, and hope is a powerful strategy to move people forward. People who have hope are more motivated to find work and make plans towards their goals.

As outlined in the 2023 Whitepaper ‘Activating Hope in Employment Services’, people who are more hopeful are more likely to experience a state of positive wellbeing, which is essential for meaningful participation in their job search journey.

Motivation builds resilience

One significant advantage of intrinsic motivation is its impact on resilience. The job search process can be fraught with rejection and uncertainty, but those driven by internal satisfaction and a genuine passion are better equipped to persevere through setbacks. Their motivation is not easily swayed by external factors, making them more persistent and adaptable in the face of challenges.
Moreover, intrinsic motivation enhances the quality of job applications. When individuals are genuinely interested in a role, their confidence and self-belief shows in their cover letters and resumes, as well as during interviews. Their enthusiasm and commitment set them apart from other candidates who may be motivated primarily by extrinsic factors.

What can you do?

Bounce Seek

Discover how The Bounce Program™ is revolutionising wellbeing work-readiness from the inside out.

Bounce Coache

Job Coach Certification
is the must-have training program for consultants, case managers and frontline workers.

Final thoughts...

To cultivate intrinsic motivation, job coaches can support their clients by helping them to identify their core interests and values. Engaging in self-reflection, asking great questions to explore roles that offer personal fulfilment, and setting meaningful career goals can help sustain this internal drive. Additionally, staying curious, continuously learning, and building a network of like-minded professionals can further reinforce intrinsic motivation.

Ultimately, intrinsic motivation not only makes the job search more enjoyable but also increases the likelihood of finding a fulfilling and satisfying career. By harnessing this internal drive and with support from their job coach, individuals can navigate their path to employment with greater confidence and purpose.


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