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Intrinsic Motivation in Career Choices


Careers today are different from what they used to be a couple of decades ago. Family businesses are no longer the norm and venturing into novel fields is relatively common. Students can study whatever they are interested in and pursue their dream jobs. However, you will find that many professionals today are not keen on settling in their initial jobs, which is primarily due to the absence of inner motivation and a sense of purpose.

A common occurrence seen in colleges and universities is that students show a preference for taking courses in science and engineering subjects. These subjects are presented to them as the ideal choice for career prospects. The reality, however, is that the scope of careers within these fields is limited to one’s interest in the defined subject-areas. This occurrence is not just limited to science, it applies to various fields that students are often pushed into because they either lack the grades to qualify for the course of their choice or lack the support to take on something that lies outside their social standard.

When these students are faced with the daunting task of choosing a suitable career path, they experience mental health and stress issues before they even start giving job interviews. They feel confused because they concern themselves with finding the ideal career path for success instead of thinking about the ideal path for themselves. The answer, however, can be found by looking inside ourselves and understanding our personal motivation and interests.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist and author of the book ‘Flow’, studied creative and accomplished people for over a decade. He concluded that genuinely creative people work for work’s own sake – that fame was just a bonus for them. What drives accomplished professionals, more than rewards, is the inner desire to contribute and create order where there was none before.

Csikszentmihalyi states that when we are intrinsically motivated, we pursue every task with the highest degree of concentration and passion and often get lost in our work. Therefore, it is extremely important to find out where our interests lie because that is where we will discover our purpose and inner motivation, which will also help us strive for success and maintain our well-being.

Read the full article here in our January2021 issue.

Founder of Kangaroo Kids and Billabong High, Lina Ashar started her career as a teacher and today is one of the most renowned educators in India. On completing her higher education in Australia, Lina visited India in 1991 after having gained experience in international teaching methodologies. The need for change was obvious to her, and in 1993 she established her own pre-school in Mumbai, which grew from one Kangaroo Kids Preschool to a whole network of Preschools and Billabong High International Schools across 29 different cities in India, as well as in Dubai and the Maldives. Lina believes in learner-centric education and a practical application of knowledge, backed by international standards and processes. She is passionate about allowing children to be thinkers, innovators and problem solvers, and to orchestrate experiences that will result in their overall development. She has been recognized and awarded many times for her significant contributions to the field of education.


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