A potential employer asked me today; “What are your salary expectations?”

It’s a tricky one. You don’t want to undervalue yourself, yet you also don’t want to price yourself out of the market. It’s also tricky because I don’t like giving my price when I don’t yet know the roles and responsibilities of this particular sales post. Yes the economy may be in tatters and believe me, I am compassionate to those out there whom don’t have the luxury of a regular salary. But, I value highly, what I can bring to an organisation.

How did I respond? I responded honestly. I gave a figure which I felt was reasonable yet highlighted that money is not the be all and end all. I said my real focus is not merely on the financial benefit.  Instead I focus on more intrinsic motivating factors.  I like sales. Because I deem this as important, I want to inject my energy into them.  I thrive in team environments yet I also enjoy a level of freedom to perform sales tasks my way. I feel that company offer a work environment which drives and sustains empowerment, this will allow me to exercise my own trusted judgement. Facing new challenges and developing new and existing skills excites me; I love sales, I think I am a good salesman, I know I want to be great.

With me, I am often extraverted. Yet, in many respects I am incredibly introverted. I’m big on self improvement and if someone asks me a question, I will look inwardly and find an answer. Here the question was, how much, I looked beyond and began to think about what motivates me. And you know what happens when I get thinking. That’s right…I find answers and then I hit up wordpress. Maybe I should stick to the diary, but, if you are interested, here is what I’ve come up with. The motivations of Dara Boland.

I used an integrative model comprises 4 “task assessments” upon which will be expatiated upon. The combined values of these may indicate intrinsic rewards necessary in order to produce and sustain empowerment. As such, once an accurate reading of a participant’s own sense of purpose and activities performed takes place, derived extrapolations can be made re: job satisfaction, stress and performance levels.

Feeling of meaningfulness: whereby a person is completing a series of work which they deem as important and thus worth investing energy. It consists of an understanding values and desires. This feeling may be enhanced where co-workers share similar values/desires and thus act as a support. I am a little akin to a sponge, in that I love to absorb information. The opportunity to better educate myself by working towards a masters make me feel privileged. This said, I have highlighted areas of concern.

“The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live.”                                                                         — Oliver Wendell Holmes

Many of the subjects I study are thought to be excellent to have on a CV. I have attained a basic grasp of difficult subjects such as Java, information access and networks and internets. This basic grasp is to be celebrated, however, when compared in juxtaposition to modules such as web design, issues arise. I was not especially motivated, in part because I could not see the end product/application of such knowledge. However Web Design is relevant to me, I have a desire to create websites and thus I enjoyed the pursuit of knowledge/was more intrinsically motivated.

Feeling of choice: This is in evidence where a person feels a sense of freedom in choosing tasks and is allocated the freedom to perform such tasks in a way they choose. The person trusts their own judgement and work according to their understanding.

“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.”                                                                              –George Bernard Shaw

My undergraduate degree had many of the same modules as my current course. As the feeling of choice also relates to ambition to face new challenges, this has made it more difficult for me to motivate myself. Concepts such as SEO and SEM continually get introduced as a new topic, however to me, they are quite familiar and rather unchallenging.

“Education is a method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices.”   — Laurence J. Peter


In terms of grades, yes this does give me an advantage. However, grades alone do not act as a significant motivator for me. The ISAC score sheet indicates that I am motivated by choice rather than need.

Feeling of competence: This is re: the self perceived skill level attributable to task performance. It may include facing new challenges to develop new or improve upon existing skills.

“It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.”  — Alec Bourne

After conducting an Online PR project for a client, PR now finds itself in my personal development plan as a possible future career. The reason for this is, having actually put together a real world PR plan, I now feel confident in putting theory to practise.

Feeling of progress: This occurs when an individual senses that a project is making headway and that their investment of effort is accomplishing goals. In terms of career development it is important that a long standing employee still feels fulfilled by his/her activities. Can he/she see any strides in performance and did this contribute to an associated increase in general wellbeing. How far up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the individual, can they chart their progress. I have previously worked in 9-5 office scenarios. Allianz Insurance comes to mind. Even after a couple of months the monotonous workload was becoming quite a burden to me. I thus feel a career in a fast moving Industry would best suit me. The exponential growth of digital industries make it difficult for those involved to become lackadaisical. I also envision myself eventually setting up my own company, and more likely several companies. Quigley and Tymon (2006) discuss a trend whereby individuals have become footloose. They are likely to move between jobs, which contributes to new competency development and likely increased motivation.

2.)Feeling of Meaningfulness: I have recently completed a DCU Degree in Marketing, Innovation and Technology and am currently working towards a masters in e-commerce. As such, I have a deeply engrained love of and passion for all things technology. I also have a burning desire to one day be a successful entrepreneur. For these reasons I will embrace every opportunity which will help in attaining this goal.

One issue I have encountered arose during discussions with my practicum group. Although extremely capable students in their own right, do not share the same motivations as me. Many of my practicum ideas where quirky and even controversial but where all money spinners. What I found though, was that the group preferred the idea of taking a sponsored project which would involve software design on behalf of a company. Although this will also help me in developing key competencies, I feel I would have developed more working towards our own venture. We were all motivated differently and so a small rift escalated. An ISAC score sheet indicated that I should better learn to communicate my ideas to others, perhaps this fact induced the rift. Furthermore, the group is composed of diverse Belbin team roles i.e. implementer, team worker and shaper. Whetten and Cameron (2007, p449) offer that where team roles are utilised to their full potential “improvement in productivity, quality and morale” occurs. We as a group, should now revisit each of our roles, particularly in light of out intrinsic motivations.

Feeling of Choice:

I enjoy embarking on new tasks and generally approach them as voyages of discovery. It is important to me that the remit of project deliverables are clear. Indeed, the test scores show that I have an innate aversion to ambiguous instructions. Although I prefer clear instructions in terms of goals, I then enjoy crafting my own strategy to achieve the predefined goals. This freedom is in evidence in one project I am working on. This project saw me hook up with a client from the DCU Ryan Acadamy, where I designed a commercialization plan on their behalf and where I had effectively been presented with a blank canvas.

“The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.”                                                                                                                                — Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Feeling of competence:

What I must strive for here is continuous competency development, both of existing competencies and new skills. Of course unfamiliarity is more risky but test results show a natural aversion to minimal risk. I thus strive for personal development instead of playing the safe bet by doing what I know. During semester one I spent most of my time on the “known” domains of SEO rather then that of sat; Market Entry. I thus found myself relatively unmotivated. In semester two I had decided to attribute more attention to the “unknown” e.g.; Nootrol project over the “known” Gomcha project.

“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot, irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.”                                                                    — J. Bronowski

Feeling of progress:

I acknowledge that, although I enjoy freedom, continuous feedback is beneficially to me. Particularly beneficially to me is uplifting encouragement or where necessary, constructive criticism.

“A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.”                          — Thomas Carruthers

Results achieved act as a measure of performance but the feedback can entice/motivate me to improve in future efforts. The existence of a subjective view allows me to better assess what I have excelled in and what I must improve upon. Upon writing up my personal development plan, I went about availing of classes and workshops which I deemed beneficial. For example; CV clinics, communication workshops, interview skills, presentations seminars, analytical thinking discussions etc. all helped me evaluate my intrinsic motivations upon which I will call upon to improve.

Motivations are interesting to me because they are complex and difficult to pin down. The irrational is mysterious and mysteries are attractive. Don’t believe me, watch this…