Research by Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer found that the # 1 motivator for the knowledge employees they surveyed was progress–the feeling that the workers were moving forward and achieving a greater goal:
“On days when workers have the sense they’re making headway in their jobs, or when they receive support that helps them overcome obstacles, their emotions are most positive and their drive to succeed is at its peak. On days when they feel they are spinning their wheels or encountering roadblocks to meaningful accomplishment, their moods and motivation are lowest.”
So what do you do when you’re saddled with a Bad Boss, who doesn’t give you support that helps you overcome obstacles, and if anything, is a constant impediment to your making headway in your job?!
Well, you obviously can’t rely on said boss for your feeling of progress, yet the solution is closer than you think.
It’s you. Yup. You can set goals for yourself--small, achievable goals--and reward yourself for the accomplishment of every single one of them.
Reward can be as simple as checking that item off your list, taking a 10 minute break, or just sitting for a moment with your personal sense of satisfaction.
Progress is progress, no matter who defines it. Take it upon yourself to define progress in a way that’s doable, given your Bad Boss circumstance. You’ll feel better and do better.