Is this temporary?

by Carl
(Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S.)

I got married this passed December. I'm a senior Finance undergrad with one semester left. My wife graduated in May '09 (she is working full-time at the moment). I've been part of an internship since late July.

We plan on moving to Singapore after I graduate in the fall (2010). My wife will be going to grad school there. Since about September, I have literally lost the majority of my motivation at work AND at school. When I first started the internship, it was very challenging and I learned so much in the first few months. But after a while, the challenge kind of died down and the work I am allocated now is menial and takes little brainpower to do. I have the mindset of "I'll be moving away in about 9 months, so what's the point in trying to climb a ladder that I will eventually abandon?" It almost feels as if I'm waiting until we move in order to make myself find motivation to work. Your thoughts?

Comments From Lyndsay

Hi Carl,

Congratulations on your wedding! Motivation at work is not a constant thing, and it's unrealistic to expect it to be high each and every day. With that in mind however, I'd never advocate being a slacker and letting opportunities pass you by.

I'd take a step back and look at the bigger picture of your life and work out where you want to seek your challenges and where you are okay for things to tick over. You have been busy with a wedding, school and will be busily planning your move - all of which take a great deal of time, care and energy. If you find that there are some opportunities at work that will provide you with new skills or experience, or allow you to consolidate what you already know, then if this fits with the bigger picture, point your energies at that and make what you can of the time before you move.

There is a risk of being "black or white" about the time you have left - "what's the point, I've only got x number of months left". This doesn't allow you the flexibility to put your motivation where it is best placed, at that point in your life.

Good luck with the move and with your new life in Singapore,


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