Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps pharmacists create an inspiring career, break free from the mundane “pill-flipping” life. He is a Full-time Pharmacist, Media Company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He's also the Founder of Pharmacy School HQ, which helps students get into pharmacy school and become residents.

8 Ways to Stay Motivated at Work

SEPTEMBER 09, 2016


Pharmacy employees can experience high rates of burnout because of demanding, stressful work conditions.
 
To fight burnout, it helps to stay as motivated and engaged as possible at work. Furthermore, pharmacy employees and managers who recognize the importance of a positive attitude and staying motivated are more likely to avoid physically and mentally debilitating bouts of job dissatisfaction that affect work performance.
 
Here are 8 ways to boost your motivation at work:
 
1. Consider How Your Work Impacts Others
Spend a few minutes each day reflecting on how you help keep your community safe and healthy. Think about how many patients your pharmacy serves and, if possible, try to think of one recent instance when a patient seemed truly grateful for your help. Understanding the impact of your work can keep you going, even in the face of disgruntled customers at the drive-thru window.
 
2. Challenge Yourself
If you’re feeling blah at work, try learning a new skill or taking some classes. Your supervisor will probably be thrilled to hear you’re interested in this and will be even more overjoyed if you ask for additional responsibilities.
 
Or, maybe a change in responsibilities is what you need. Take advantage of any leadership training or continuing education classes that may be available to you.
 
3. Set Goals
Achieving your professional goals is a great way to boost your motivation at work, but you can’t do this without setting goals for yourself first! Think about a few things you’d like to accomplish and take concrete steps to get there. Whether you’d like to become proficient at new skills, learn more about customer service, or earn a promotion, taking control of your future is a very powerful way to help you stay engaged in your job.
 
4. Seek Feedback
Ask your boss, or even a coworker or trusted customer, for some regular feedback on how you’re doing. Although it’s always nice to receive kudos for a job well done, honest feedback on how you can improve will give you something to work toward (see No. 3). If you have no idea how you’re doing—or if it seems like no one’s really paying attention—it can be easy to lose motivation.
 
5. Ask for Autonomy
Independence in decision-making is critical for motivation on the job. If you believe you can handle or deserve more freedom, ask for it. Providing you’ve proven responsible in the past, your manager may be more than happy to delegate some decision-making tasks to you.
 
6. Mentally Prepare
Thinking constructively about what problems you might encounter and developing strategies for how you might handle them can help empower you and boost your motivation when you’re facing a particularly difficult day. For example, if you know you’ll have to deal with a challenging customer, attempt to anticipate his or her needs/complaints/problems and plan some responses in your head during your drive to work.
 
7. Participate
No matter how corny or constant those workplace birthday celebrations and potlucks may seem, make an effort to participate in office events. Even if you’re not feeling excited about it, chances are your coworkers’ enthusiasm will be infectious. If nothing else, connecting with your team will help create a positive workplace culture where everyone’s motivation can grow and thrive.
 
8. Speak Up
Don’t suffer in silence if you have a work-related suggestion that may help improve the environment for everyone. Respectfully raising an issue, offering solutions, and helping to craft a resolution is a powerful motivator. After all, it shows you have the power and ability to recognize opportunities for improvement and make—or at least suggest—positive changes.
 
When things get tough at work, sometimes you have to dig deep to find the motivation to carry on and continue doing your best. The strategies outlined above require minimal effort to implement and will go a long way toward helping you avoid the temptation to coast—or worse, slip into burnout mode.
 



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