You want to be in a job where you’re motivated. There’s a theory that was articulated by the late psychologist Frederick Herzberg. He makes a strong point that there’s a big difference between motivation and incentives. An incentive is, “I will pay you to want what I want.” Motivation means that you’ve got an engine inside of you that drives you to keep working in order to feel successful and to help the organization be successful. It causes you to keep at it through thick and thin.
Motivators are things like, “I have the opportunity to achieve important things,” “I get recognized for my achievements,” “I learn ways to be better,” and “I’m an important part of a team.” If you have those kinds of experiences every day, you’re motivated, and you’ll be satisfied.
Excerpt from Money magazine, pp. 97-100, October 2012