Can We Guess What Motivates You at Work?

By: Raj Chander

Can We Guess What Motivates You at Work?
Image: Hybrid Images/Cultura/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Did you know that the average person spends about 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime? That's the equivalent of over a decade in the office. Thanks to the increasing popularity of the modern gig economy and the loosening of restrictions on remote work, employees are now able to enjoy more freedom and work-life balance than ever before.

But at the end of the day, work is still work. Whether you do it at home in your pajamas or in a cubicle wearing khakis and a nice shirt, you are still going to spend a significant amount of your time at the office. Why wouldn't you want to enjoy it? You'd think more people would pick jobs they love, but that's just not the case. Employee engagement in the U.S. has hovered around 33% for the last five years, according to Gallup. That means approximately two-thirds of Americans don't find their work engaging.

But you don't have to find yourself in this category. By understanding what motivates you personally, you will be on the path to a satisfying job that keeps you happy and interested. Just get through this quiz, and we'll let you know what your biggest professional motivator is. Getting a job that gives you plenty of it is on you, however.

Let's begin with a simple one — which of these jobs is most similar to yours?
Sales rep
Communications manager
IT developer
Social worker

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What did you study in college?
Communications
Business
Engineering
Education

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How long have you been working at your current company?
A year or less
Three to five years
Two years
Over five years

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You're asked to work overtime — what is your response?
I don't mind it, my job is important.
It's fine as long as it doesn't happen often.
Sure, as long as I get overtime pay
If it's for an important project, it's OK.

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Coworkers are hosting an office party, what are you bringing?
Plates and napkins
The cake
I'd just give money to someone to buy supplies for me.
A dip that I slaved over the night before

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How many times have you changed jobs in the last five years?
Twice
Three or more times
I have been at the same job for five years or more
Just once

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What compliment did your supervisor give you on your last evaluation?
I'm a hard worker.
I'm devoted to the mission.
I think creatively.
I'm a team player.

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Which of these things do you think is your biggest flaw at work?
I don't always give others enough credit.
Sometimes I am not selfish enough.
I sometimes am a bit too competitive.
Sometimes I neglect meaningless or minute tasks.

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What is your favorite perk about the place you work?
They know my worth.
There are lots of awards and contests.
I get to do unique work.
I get to meet a lot of interesting people.

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What did you imagine yourself doing for a career as a child?
Owning a company
Acting in movies
Running a country
Fighting fires

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What did your parents do for work when you were a kid?
They were engineers.
They worked in sales and/or owned a business.
They were teachers.
They were in the performing arts.

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If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
I'd get rid of the boring, monotonous tasks I have to complete.
I'd want my work to impact more people.
I'd want a bigger paycheck.
I'd want a promotion.

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How often do you hang out with your coworkers outside of the office?
Pretty often, but only a certain group
About an average amount
Relatively often, I consider them friends.
Not that often

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What is your current relationship status?
Married with kids
Married, but no kids
I'm dating someone.
Single

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What kind of house do you live in?
A pretty humble place with only two bedrooms
A studio apartment in a cool area
A modest townhouse in a good neighborhood
A large house in the suburbs

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What is one thing that would make you quit your job almost immediately?
Repeatedly having my ideas stolen or not getting credit for my work
Being asked to do menial tasks that didn't make a difference to the world
Getting a big pay cut
Being forced to do work I don't like

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How would you handle getting offered a job for a better salary at a different company?
I'd give my current boss a day to match it — if they didn't, I'd take the offer.
I'd look at other characteristics that made the job better or worse than my current one.
I'd take whichever job provided more enjoyable work.
I'd think about it but would probably end up staying at my current job.

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What is the one thing that holds you back from success at work?
Being a little too selfless
Others slowing me down
Receiving boring tasks that cause me to lose focus
Internal politics preventing me from advancing

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How often do you update your professional resume?
At least once a quarter
Annually
Two or three times a year
It's been way too long, I can't even remember.

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How often do you look to take courses or certifications to advance in your field?
If it'll help me get a better paying job, I'm open to it.
Pretty often
When an interesting one comes up
If it helps make my work more effective

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How much does it matter what kind of people you work with?
Not that much, as long as I am allowed to do my job.
I don't care who they are as long as they are committed to the mission.
All I care about is them being competent.
I like working with people similar to me, but it's not a necessity.

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What is the biggest compliment you can receive at the office?
I'm making the company lots of money.
I'm helping the business achieve its mission.
I'm working on the most difficult projects.
My work is having a big impact on clients.

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How long do you want to work before retiring?
The fewest number of years possible
Until I'm 60 or 65
I may go part-time, but I'll probably never fully retire.
Until my health gets in the way

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When you get home from work, what is the first thing you usually do?
See how my family is doing
Jump into a video game
Correspond with my friends
Start getting ready for tomorrow

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Which of these is your favorite movie about work?
"Up in the Air"
"The Devil Wears Prada"
"Office Space"
"Boiler Room"

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If you had to have a difficult conversation with a coworker, how would you handle it?
I'd be straightforward and waste as little time as possible on it.
I'd butter them up with conversation first.
I'd make sure also to compliment them for their positive traits.
I'd say it as nicely as possible.

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Which of these positive professional events makes you happiest?
Seeing the company grow
Getting a raise
Receiving an award
Taking on a more complex project

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Have you ever broken the rules of your office?
Yes, if it helps my performance
Never intentionally
Sometimes, if it helps to solve a problem
No, I try to always do things right.

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How important is it for you to help mentor the next generation in your field?
I don't care about all that, I'm just trying to take care of #1.
It's helpful in a number of ways.
I try to do it, but it's not my main concern.
It's one of the main reasons I do what I do.

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How do you plan on spending your days once you are done working?
Relaxing on a beach somewhere
Pursuing a competitive hobby
Taking up an instrument
Volunteering with a charitable organization

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You Got:

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