Sarah Aviram - The Six Ways to Unlock Your WhyApply to Speak

Automatic Summary

The Future of Remote Work: Insights from a Fortune 500 HR Leader

In today's dynamic workplace, the trend of remote work is growing incredibly fast. With more companies embracing this trend, the need to understand the different dynamics of remote work is more important than ever. This is where I, Sarah Avira, come in. A former Fortune 500 HR leader based in New York, I aim to provide insights into life as a remote worker and how to navigate this new-found work freedom.

A Personal Journey into Remote Work

In 2019, I began an adventurous experiment where I got the opportunity to work remotely from 12 different countries. I conducted extensive research on the future of work and met multiple remote workers exploring their opportunities and challenges. Interestingly, I discovered that the freedom and flexibility that come with remote work don't automatically translate into job fulfillment. Many remote workers still felt unfulfilled and stuck despite having the ability to work from any location, including exotic places like a beach in Bali.

So why did these workers feel unfulfilled despite their freedom?

The answer lies in the principle that no matter where you are, if you don't enjoy what you do, changing your location may just be a short-term solution. The real challenge arises when you don't enjoy the job itself, irrespective of where you're doing it from.

Remote Work and Career Fulfilment

With increasing numbers of individuals choosing the remote work career path, I extended my knowledge and experience in HR and remote work to help others understand how to unlock the rewards of working from anywhere. The fruits of this effort led to a book called "Re Motivation: The Remote Workers' Ultimate Guide to Life-Changing Fulfilment."

In my workshops, speaking engagements, and individual courses, I help remote workers feel more motivated and engaged in their work, no matter their location.

Re Motivators: Unlocking Your 'Why'

In my research and personal experience, the primary motivators (which I call "re motivators") behind remote work fulfilment boil down to six core factors:

  1. Money: This is the financial freedom and security that work provides.
  2. Identity: This refers to whether your work is aligned with your personal values and interests.
  3. Routines: Stability and security at work can provide a comforting routine.
  4. Growth: Your job should allow you to develop new skills and experiences.
  5. Impact: Your work should provide value and make a positive impact.
  6. Joy: Ideally, you should derive joy from the work that you do.

Tactical Performance vs. Adaptive Performance

As well as these factors, individuals also need to understand the different types of performance required in a job. I highlight two:

  1. Tactical Performance: Successfully executing a task or plan by following a prescribed process or protocol.
  2. Adaptive Performance: Successfully adapting and diverging from a plan, enabling you to come up with creative solutions to new problems.

In times of change or uncertainty like the COVID-19 pandemic, adaptive performance is key in helping us adapt and perform at our best, even without a clear process to follow.

How to Re Motivate Yourself in Your Career

The first step to remotivate yourself in your career is to clarify what motivates you to perform at your best. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Identify and manage your re motivators
  2. Take clear actions on what motivates you
  3. Rub shoulders with individuals who possess the skills you aim to develop
  4. Prepare to discuss with your manager any obstacles in your way
  5. Define what impact you aim to create through your work
  6. Find what kind of work gives you energy

In conclusion, understanding what motivates you can help you unlock your 'why' and fuel your performance, whether you're a remote worker or not. By taking proactive steps to manage your re motivators, you can achieve greater fulfillment and higher performance in your career.

For further resources, please check out my book Re Motivation available on Amazon and get in touch with me via [email protected]

Video Transcription

And I think we're gonna go ahead and get started since we've only got 20 minutes here. So, hi, everyone. I am Sarah Avira. I'm located in New York.I am gonna give my, give a little intro about myself and then talk about my topic and it'll make a little bit more sense about why I'm talking about um this topic today. So um a little bit about me. So I am a former Fortune 500 hr leader, have worked at some of the companies you might recognize here. And um in early 2019, I was reporting to the CEO as the HR director for um I AC and he said to me, you know, what are the talent trends of 2019? What should we be looking for? How do we compete for the best talent? Um And at the time, this trend of remote work was growing, um This is, you know, way before the pandemic, it was um you know, more and more individuals wanted the freedom and flexibility that remote work could provide and more and more companies were OK with, you know, giving them that freedom of flexibility.

And so this trend was growing. And in order to compete for talent, we knew we had to provide that kind of flexibility. So I convinced my CEO to let me do an experiment and to be a guinea pig. And I ended up working remotely from 12 countries in 12 months, researching the future of work. In addition to doing my day job, remotely and meeting tons of remote workers and finding out, you know, what are the opportunities and challenges that remote workers face. So this is actually me and my co-working space in Lima Peru in March of 2019 and sometimes I'd work from the pool. Um But what was so interesting is that what I found is that many remote workers thought that if they just had the ability to do their job from anywhere, if they could work from the beach in Bali, that they would feel so happy and motivated, but many of them actually still felt pretty stuck and unfulfilled and I wanted to understand why that would be.

So I started to do um a little bit of research and understand it. And it was that, you know, that old adage goes that no matter where you go there, you are. So if you don't like your job in Baltimore, just doing it in Bali is a short term kind of band aid solution for the bigger challenge, which is not liking the work itself. So I really wanted to take all my hr knowledge and my experience of working remotely and help people understand how to find that kind of fulfillment and fully unlock the rewards of this work from anywhere life, which now many more thousands of people are about to make the same decisions.

So I wanted people to learn from my knowledge. So I ended up writing a book called Re Motivation, The Remote Workers, Ultimate Guide to life changing fulfillment. And I published that last year. And now I actually have my own business doing workshops and speaking engagements for companies.

I also have courses for individuals helping remote workers feel more motivated and engaged in their work no matter where they are located from. So thank you all for joining me today. I'm just seeing if there's any comments so far. Um I will keep going. OK. So I'd love to you to think about this question. Like, what do you think is the primary reason why you do your job? Is it to learn skill, new skills and have new developmental experiences to experience a sense of comfort, security and stability, to make a difference in other people's lives, to earn the income. I need to maintain my lifestyle, to enjoy the opportunities. It gives me to create and innovate or to prove to myself and others that I can be successful. Now, I'm sure a lot of you are saying, OK, well, more than one of these apply to me, but I'd love you to just think for a second. Is there one that really stands out as the main reason you feel like you do your job? Let me give you a second just to think about that. Ok? Now I wanna, I'm gonna come back to this in a second, but I wanna tell you more of what I found when I was doing my research about what was motivating remote workers and the ones that were really feeling fulfilled, what were they managing differently than the ones that weren't?

And of course, as the title of this tacos, it all all had to do with your why and what was motivating you. So I discovered that there were really these six core, I call them re motivators. This is a plan words of remote and motivators, six core re motivators or why that drive our fulfillment. So the first one is money. So money is like the sensitive topic we don't like to talk about. But the truth is, it's a reason why many of us made decisions around our careers. Money provides us with financial security and freedom. And that's of course, a big driver of our decisions around our career. The second one is identity. So identity is when we work, when our reasons for working um are because they, our work is aligned with something that we value or who we want, how we want to show up in the world. And we feel that the work that we do is aligned with that, then we have routines. So routines are when we work because um this sense of stability and security and this knowing of what to expect gives gives us a comfort that we value. The fourth one is growth. So growth is when you work because the job allows you to develop skills or have experiences that contribute to your development. The last one is impact.

So impact is when you work because you believe your work, you know, provides a value or has a purpose that you believe is important and then joy. So joy is when you work because the work is its own reward, it's fun. It's engaging and you feel more creative and innovative while you're doing it. Now, each of those questions I asked you before about why you did your job. Each of those answers pertains to one of these wise or re motivators. So the first one was growth routines, impact money, joy, identity. So I'd love in the comments if any of you want to share with us, just the one word answer of which of these do you feel like? Is your primary reason why you do your job? Is it growth routines, impact money, joy or identity? OK. Money, money impact growth, joy, impact growth. OK. We've got a lot of impact and growth. A couple of routines. A couple of money, money is in there. OK. Yeah. And we all have our different reasons for why we do our jobs, right? And what really motivates us to do it. So let me um explain a little bit more about each of these. So what I did notice is that the people that were feeling most fulfilled were actually able to activate and manage each of these six re motivators to their benefit. And specifically, they were able to take the following three steps.

So one minimize obstacles and pressure related to their money, identity and routines. Two optimize opportunities for growth and impact. And three to realize that fulfillment and joy in their career and feeling that fulfillment in your job kind of feels like a strong wi fi signal for your spirit.

So at this lower level of fulfillment, it's like when your wi fi signal is low. So you, it's, it's ok and you feel a sense of fulfillment and your main motivators that you've been able to manage and activate are money, identity and routines. At the second level of motivation, that medium level, you're feeling a greater sense of fulfillment as you've been able to manage and activate the first level re motivators. And on top of that, you're able to find opportunities for growth and impact in your work. And at this third high level of fulfillment, of course, you've managed all the other ones. And on top of that, you find joy in your work, you're enjoying the journey, you're creating your innovative and the work itself is rewarding to you I'm just gonna see if there's any comments on that. Oh, so Alicia saying that in changing careers, you lose an identity and yeah, what's so interesting about that is we have this sense of what I should be doing, what I want to be doing. And we, you know, we have to remember at different stages in our lives, our priorities and how we think we want to show up in the world may change.

And we have to assess is what I'm doing, still currently aligned with who I want to be and how I want to show up in the world, not just what I think I should do, but what I want to do. So that's where Vina is agreeing about impact and growth are really important. Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for sharing everyone. So I I mentioned that this opportunity to activate and manage each of these motivators leads to higher fulfillment, but they also can lead to higher performance.

But there's actually two kinds of performance I wanna talk about. So the first one is called tactical performance. So tactical performance is when you successfully execute a plan, it's when you follow a process or a protocol or a best practice exactly how it's been suggested.

And that's really important sometimes because those best practices or processes were created for a reason because there are proven strategies that produce a, a desired result. But what about when there isn't a clear process to follow or when there's a lot of change in our environment and there isn't a known path like what we all experienced in the last year with COVID. And suddenly we had to change the way we did a lot of our work. So in those types of situations, adaptive performance is necessary, an adaptive performance is successfully diverging from a plan. It's when you can come up with creative solutions to new problems and try things that might be out of your comfort zone or you've never done before. And because there's no process to follow, you might have to create it as you go. So during times of change and uncertainty, this kind of adaptive performance is really necessary for us to be able to adapt and perform at our best and manage through those kinds of changing and challenging times. So I'm seeing some comments and their great point, Sarah. Thank you. Excellent.

Um So yeah, so we have to be able to find this balance between the tactical performance and the adaptive performance in order to not just perform at our best, but to feel fulfilled. And I'd like to give you some practical tips on how to remotivate yourself in your career and really find um uh an opportunity to feel more energy. So first, you really want to clarify what motivates you to perform at your best. So what are the thing, not just the tasks and jobs at work, but the kind of projects that you might want to work on the environment. Um The kind of people that you wanna work with, um, or any of those motivators that I mentioned, what helps you perform at your best and then you want to take clear actions. If there's any kind of aha moment you learn today, any of these motivators, you think that you might wanna look into or manage a little differently. I know we only had, you know, a short amount of time to talk about them. But you want to think about, you know, what actions might I take today or what, what might I think about differently? You want to build relationships with others that possess skills that you want to develop.

So when I talk about growth, I mean, skill and experience development and some of you may have heard of a learning model called the 70 2010 model, which is something I've taught at a lot of different organizations. So what that means is 70% of the way that we acquire knowledge and grow is through on the job experiences, it's learning through doing. And um so when you think about how to develop a skill, you wanna first think about, OK, well, how can I actually work on a project or initiative? And, and you know, practice by doing the 20% of how we acquire new knowledge is through learning from others. So that could be shadowing, coaching, getting feedback or mentorship. So again, thinking of developing a skill, you might think about who is someone I know that's an expert in this skill. And what could I learn from them? And then this 10% of the 70 2010 is learning through formal uh training. That could be a certification, a degree, an online course, some kind of formalized training. So when you think about developing a skill, you want to think about what is the 70 2010 approach that I could take to develop this skill. And this um bullet point here really refers to um the importance of relationships, which is part of that 20%.

And then you want to prepare to discuss with your manager. If you're in a corporate organization, you know, what obstacles might be getting in your way. So we talked about the people that felt most fulfilled tend to be um focus on minimizing obstacles related to their money, identity and routines. So money could be like, I see two things I see people who feel like, well, if I don't get this paycheck, I won't be able to pay next month's rent. And that can cause a lot of fear and pressure, right? And then other people on the other side say, well, I have the golden handcuffs, meaning I get paid too much that I can't, even though I don't love the job, I can't imagine what else I could do and get paid the same. So our relationship with money can really impact our ability to make decisions that are intrinsically, really what we want so important to kind of figure out how can I get some of these obstacles out of the way, whether it's a mindset shift, whether it's a renegotiation of a salary, whether it's a downsizing of your lifestyle, whatever it might be to reduce some of the pressure that money could put on and the identity one we addressed, right.

So that's reducing the pressure that other people or you put on yourself about um who you like, I should be a VP by this age or I, you know, should have this title and really think about like, is that what I want? Truly, what's actually gonna make me happy? And then the routines one? So are there any routines that I'm kind of just like I'm doing this work today because I did it yesterday and I actually don't even know why I'm doing this at all. So helping to minimize some of that inertia in our lives by understanding, are there routines I'm doing that are not really serving my goals and how could I change them? So those are some of the obstacles that might be getting in your way. And then of course, the skills and experiences that you want to develop. We talked about the 70 2010 model and then you want to think the impact you wanna have now you don't have to work in, you know, life changing industries or create life changing products in order to feel like you are making an impact. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of context to understand the value that your work is already providing to your organization, to your business, to your clients, to your customers, whoever it might be.

So a lot of people, you know, I've heard people say, well, I created this presentation and sent it off to the executives and I haven't heard anything about it. And so it's quite demotivating because you don't, you spent all this time working on something you don't know if it was valuable, you don't know what the feedback is, the reaction. And of course, in an ideal world world, we would have, you know, managers and executives that provided that regular context or feedback, but in the absence of it, it's on you to ask for it and to say, um yes, I'm happy to put that report together for you. Um Could you give me um some more context as to, you know, who it's for and what the end result might be? So I can, you know, put together the best solution or, you know, things, things like that where you can ask for that additional context because the more impact you feel like you're having on your job, the more motivated you're gonna be to do it. The next one is finding what kind of work gives you energy. So not just what you're good at because there, there's a distinction there people may say, oh, you're so good at XYZ, but that kind of work might not lighten you up or energize you.

And in order to have that adaptive performance that we talked about, we really need to find energy from our work. Because if we want to come up with these new and innovative solutions, the more energy our work gives us, the more we're going to want to, to do it, right? So think about, you know, when have I been the most excited about my work? When if I come home at the end of the day and told my partner a friend, like, oh, today was exciting. Like today was a good day, you know, think about what were you working on at that time um or ask them like, ask a partner, someone that knows you well, when have you seen me most excited about my work? You know, what was I doing at the time? And then you wanna find more opportunities to do that kind of work you enjoy. And so of course, you want to bring to your manager, you know, solutions or ideas on how you think you could make some of these things happen for yourself. So you really wanna come up with possible opportunities to really unlock your why in these six different ways we talked about, right? So our money, our identity, our routines, growth, impact and joy.

And I'm gonna leave like couple minutes for Q and A but I wanted to share it because I know we covered a lot in a little bit of time, but I created a workbook for all of you that has like tons of exercises and questions and things that dive deep into all of this. Um So if you go to Sarah Tech, um you will find the downloadable workbook and you'll be able to kind of dive into some of these exercises and questions I posed today and you can grab my book, Re Motivation on Amazon. And um I'd love to answer any questions that any of you have. Yes, Alicia, you can't love every second of your job, of course, but you should love every week or other month. Yes, absolutely. I mean, sometimes we're working on some tedious tests and we're like, oh, this is so frustrating. I just want to do the interesting strategic work, but we can understand the context as I was saying, why is this work important? What will it lead to? At least we can feel the sense of, you know, achievement or pride in making progress towards the overall goal that we're very clear of. But when we're not clear of the overall goal, the little task is gonna feel very annoying. Any other questions, comments, how do you negotiate growth if your boss is giving you routine? Ok. So your boss is giving you kind of the same old, same old.

And yeah, so I think it's identifying, you know, what are the skills you want to develop the next 3 to 6 months and thinking of opportunities to develop those skills using that 70 2010 framework, right? And asking them, you know, how, how would this be possible? Are there opportunities for me to develop these kinds of skills? And here's the key you need to connect your interest with the business goals. If you're able to do that and, and to show how what you want to work on is going to drive the business forward, then I think that your boss might be more open to that. Um When can I have coffee? I love what you're telling it. I love it. Saska Yeah. Email me Sarah at. Actually, I'll type it in here if anyone has any follow up questions, I'm totally happy to oops, Sarah There's my email. Um Great. I'm glad you guys enjoyed it. Feel free to reach out. Um Also I'll put in my website. Um You can learn more about me there, connect with me on linkedin. I'm happy to share more. If you think your organization could benefit from a talk that really dives deep into this. That's what I do. So I would love um any referrals. That would be fantastic. All right, everyone, my 20 minutes are up, but thank you all for attending and um I hope to be in touch. Bye.