People don’t burn out because of what they do, they burn out because they have forgotten WHY they’re doing it.

Why do educators forget their WHY? There are so many negative factors people focus on in education today: low pay, mounds of paperwork, testing, parent and/or student disrespect, high stress, and the list could go on.

But, none of that is why educators get into the education industry. What is/was their WHY? Opportunity to make a difference, lasting relationships, love working with children, profession that is the backbone of all other professions, and the list could go on as well.

Career motivation is what drives us to stick to a career or not.  Career motivation is viewed in three categories by Manual London: career resilience, carer insight, and career identity. Obstacles or setbacks will not keep one with high career motivation to veer off track; he/she will continue setting and reaching career goals and maintain a high involvement while pursuing his/her career goals according to London.

So, how do we develop career motivation in ourselves or other educators? Many believe it should be solely left to the educator to be self aware, read self help books, attend professional development opportunities, and not let life experiences turn their focus off their professional life. However, it is beneficial for institutions to enhance career motivation and commitment to one’s career since career motivation can affect both, the person and the institution.

Educators need resilience to make it through the list of cons mentioned above. Not everyone has that resilience, so we provide methods from London to assist educators. 

Do you discuss creating a personal and professional mission statement, vision statement, values and goals with your educators? Do you know where they are and where they want to be?

Are you scared of good teachers leaving the classroom? That’s understandable! However, if educators aren’t given the opportunity to grow, understand their career goals and don’t feel challenged, they may leave to get that elsewhere. Not all great teachers want to leave the classroom; they just want a new or different challenge!

Help them gain their career identity. Encourage growth. Provide opportunties. Reward them!

We should support career resilience, enhance career insight, and help build career identity in other educators. We want to grow our educators so they can grow our students. We want our educators to remember their WHY!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on career motivation and development. Feel free to email us, tweet us, and find us on LinkedIn!

London, M. & Mone, E. M. (1987). Career management and survival in the workplace. San fancisco: Joseey-Bass, p. 54

London, M. (1991). Career development. In Wexley, K. N., & Hinrichs, J. (Eds.), Developing human resources (pp. 5-159). Washington DC: BNA Books.