Reflections How to Stay Motivated in a Job You Hate. The full interview with Paul Clark.

-Why are senior bankers feeling unmotivated?

Almost certainly, one of the reasons is because whatever belief they had about their usefulness to the economy and to society has probably been scrutinised and questioned by others in many different ways and from a range of differing perspectives. The cloaks of omnipotence and omniscience which some of the decision makers seem to have worn have been removed to reveal frailties which are not particularly encouraging looked at from inside or outside the sector. Individuals are affected by this if only because they now recognise the increased risk which comes with increased accountability. Suddenly, the notion of consequences has grown closer and more real.


If they wish to stay in the same role, what techniques can they undertake to reengage with their position?

It depends on how senior they are; if they are in leadership roles, they need to engage as quickly as possible with their teams to plan a collective recovery as a disengaged leader is likely to be highly infectious and at the same time, not easily quarantined.


If the individual is not in a leadership role, it is also important to recognise that becoming re-engaged is not easily done in isolation. A potentially powerful response is to engage with colleagues or counterparts in a project which is innovative, interesting and adds value to a shared task. Whether it gets recognised by more senior people immediately is another matter, but it can be stimulating and absorbing.


-Are most people you work with attempting to motivate themselves in their current position, looking for a new job or seeking pastures new entirely?

Irrespective of the niche, most people can see that if they want to remain with the same employer, they have to look like theirs is a contribution worth keeping. Looking for a new job with an equivalent or better reward package right now is simply much more difficult at the moment.  I am sure that those who have cherished a dream for a long time are treating the downturn as the prompt they need to do something different.


-How can you recognise the signs that you are losing interest in your role?

Constantly postponing important decisions or delaying the resolution of clearly identified  problems are  pretty classic signs; using your PA and junior staff to speak on your behalf is another easily recognised avoidance tactic.; later starts and longer lunches announce the problem to an even wider audience.


What early action can be taken?

Ask those closest to you to help you monitor your spoken and unspoken attitude to your work life.