7 secrets to staying motivated

Motivation is a key ingredient in getting things done. Sometimes it can feel impossible to muster the energy to get through an especially long Monday or crunch time at your office. That’s why it’s always important to stay as motivated as possible and keep your eye on the prize. The following are 7 secrets to staying motivated and maintaining a strong work ethic:


1. Follow your passion

When you enjoy what you do, there will always be something that pushes you through to the end – your own personal pleasure. No job is going to be without grunt work, but there’s something wonderful about feeling proud of what you create or build. If you find where you fit in the job market and your passion is fed, you’re going to stay motivated.


2. Hold yourself accountable

Set goals, write them down and post them somewhere you can see. Remind yourself what you want in the short, medium and long term. Then think about what you need to get done in order to be closer to those goals. Check in regularly to see what you’ve accomplished and what’s next on the list.


3. Develop some career crushes

They could be world-famous or a member of your family. They should act as an inspiration as you pursue your career. Study your career crush – read their book, talk to them, watch their Ted Talk, whatever you can do. Learn more about their work, how they got to where they are now and what inspires them. Use them as a model to follow as you continue down your path. Don’t try to copy them, but rather understand why they made certain decisions and try to use that insight for your own career.


secrets to staying motivated


4. Work as a team

Encourage your coworkers to do good work and they will return the favor. Working as a team can help you get through long workdays because you have the encouragement, good humor and support of others – plus they also will hold you accountable.


5. Be a cheerleader for yourself

Congratulate yourself when you meet work or career goals. Do jumps or high kicks or a little dance – whatever you need to do to celebrate a job well done. It’s important to be proud of your achievements and to recognize when your hard work has paid off. It will keep you motivated to jump the next hurdle at work.


secrets to staying motivated


6. Reward yourself

Reward yourself with a piece of cake or something you find indulgent. Learn to keep certain things in your life as rewards for professional “wins”. Reinforcing your good work ethic with external rewards will keep you motivated to stay on top of your career.


7. Play motivational music

Put on an upbeat playlist whenever you need an extra kick in your step. Although music can be distracting when it’s played constantly, using it sparingly to give you an extra bit of work inspiration is definitely OK.



Now that you know the secrets to staying motivated, apply now to boost your career with an international internship!



1. based on flickr is hard worK, by Pixel Addict, CC-by-2.0

2. based on Hard work can hurt, by normalityrelief, CC-by-SA 2.0

3. based on 5/4/2010: To-Do List, by john.schultz, CC-by-SA 2.0


The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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