What Motivates You?

Today, my internship supervisor asked me this question, just purely out of curiosity – no pressure intended.

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...

My mind when my supervisor was asking me questions… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)curiosity – no pressure intended.

I know it’s one of those job interview questions that it seems like every twenty-something on the job hunt should be prepared to answer. And if it was a job interview, I probably would have come up with something on the spot that was canned and stilted and not true to myself, but had to do with the job I was after. Typically, I’m that prepared sort of person, but I found that when I really, truly thought about this question, I had no idea.

What motivates me? I mean, I kind of know. I know when I’m feeling motivated to accomplish tasks. Deadlines motivate me, but that makes me sound like a procrastinator. Money motivates me, but that makes me sound like I don’t care about anything but getting rich. Grades motivate me, but what the hell does that matter after I’m out of school?

So seriously. What motivates me? What motivates you?

I’ve been thinking about this all day after I embarrassed myself at my internship by not being to articulate a response off the cuff. What motivates me?

I still don’t think I have an answer. In an attempt to help me solve this riddle, my supervisor started asking me more questions to try to narrow it down.

I thought I had the answer — success motivates me! But isn’t success one of those abstract concepts that is measured differently based on the person? By that I mean, the next question was “How do you measure your success?” (I failed epically – again.)

Even eight hours later, I’ve still got nothing! No wonder I have no clue where I want to end up in my career, or in my life!

So here’s my challenge to you all: Figure out what your motivation is, and then use it to help you identify what you have to do with your life to take advantage of that motivation.

Good luck. I’ll get back to you when I’ve got it figured out!


WHOA. Things have been happening…

Hello! I apologize for going off the map there for a while. I’ve taken some time to really focus on my career path, and things have been happening!

I am now working a job as a multimedia designer at my new college while also completing my master’s in instructional technology and design. I’m a substitute teacher, and, perhaps most excitingly…


This probably isn’t very exciting for the general public, but it’s a huge success for me. It’s definitely not the path I had imagined for myself when I was doing my undergrad at Penn State, but I’m so happy to be getting work published professionally, even if it is reporting. Everyone has to start somewhere!

I don’t hate being a reporter, but my true writing “passion” is creative. I’m hoping that freelancing can be a stepping stone into a full time job with my paper or at a magazine of some type. That’s not for a LONG time, however.

So, being a teacher, I’m going to make this a “teachable moment” for anyone stopping by to read this. KEEP trying and DO NOT give up! And do whatever you can to get your name out there to as many people as possible. I’ve already had at least three people ask me for my business card while on a freelancing assignment.

Lastly, to anyone still in college who’s facing a choice about what path to take… do as much as you can WITHOUT spreading yourself too thin. I majored in education, but I also worked at my college paper despite not being a communications major. I was also really interested in graphic design, so my electives were all in the vein.

I was really lucky to be able to pursue so many interests, and I am extremely lucky to still be able to do all the things I love now. It might not be the typical full time day-to-day job, but hey! Variety is the spice of life, right?
P.S. – I have now re-launched my website! Due to financial constraints, it’s not my own .com address, but I’m hoping to soon be able to do that. For now, you can find me (and my published works!) at katrinamwehr.weebly.com!