The Importance of Finding What Motivates You

Cara Staff

Unlike many other job-readiness programs, Cara focuses on personal growth and self-examination. 

Here’s why being self-motivated is an essential part of the Cara way—and how we help get you there

We believe finding your motivation is the best way to find a sense of purpose, and through that purpose, build up your self-worth. That’s why we address the question, “What motivates you?” in our workshops and ask it aloud as one of our topics when we meet for morning Motivations. Not only is this a common interview question that everyone looking for a job should be able to answer, but it’s also a way to maintain your ambition and enthusiasm through the job-search process. Also, knowing your reasons can also help identify your best path for getting and keeping meaningful employment. 

Don’t worry, though—when you first come to us, you don’t have to have an answer already figured out. We’re here to help you discover what motivates you and teach you to harness that motivation as you progress in our program, land your career-building role, and continue growing.

What motivates Cara participants?

Now-employed Cara participant and mom-of-four Nicole found her motivation in her children. She first joined Cara with hopes of inspiring her children to work hard, continue their education, and pursue their dreams. Cara fathers like Juan (and grandfathers like James) also shared this same sentiment—wanting to do better for their children and grandchildren’s benefit.

We find that many of our participants have similar answers to the question “What motivates you?” when they first come to Cara. They want to provide better lives for their families. Others want to feel pride in their own skill sets. But they all want to live a different, more fulfilling life. It’s important to point out that these sources of motivation don’t always come from positive feelings for many of our participants. Instead, for some participants, their current motivations spring from feelings about their past missteps and negative feelings about themselves. At Cara, we don’t seek to change a person’s reasons for coming to us but to help them use that motivation to find a positive sense of purpose and recognize their own self-worth.

Our programs, such as the four-week Transformations that Nicole participated in, provide structure, accountability, and community. Through this, participants develop a system of support along with a strong foundation on which they can keep building success even after they graduate. By appreciating their own self-worth, finding a deeper sense of purpose, and framing their source of self-motivation positively, Cara participants are empowered to transform their lives and work toward meaningful employment. 

As Cara alum and our Director of Student and Alumni Affairs, Jesse Teverbaugh, puts it, “What motivates me the most is knowing what it feels like to be hopeless and knowing now that I can be the proprietor of the grocery store that sells hope.” 

From feeling hopeless to becoming a source of hope—if that’s not a positive transformation, we don’t know what is!

What motivates Cara staff? 

Seeing our participants’ progress keeps us going each day. 

“I feel the most motivated when I have the privilege of witnessing a participant’s growth, particularly those small baby steps,” says Corporate Account Manager Kelly DeBouver. “For example, when I was working with a participant on interview preparation, she shared with me that she had reviewed her notes from an information session she attended with one of our employment partners four months ago and applied what she learned that day to better prepare herself for today’s interview.” 

It may seem like a small, largely insignificant moment on a much larger journey, but for us, this indicates progress and change within a person on a much deeper level. It’s why we’re sure to celebrate and appreciate our participants’ achievements—all the way from getting that first interview or scoring a temporary position to completing one full year on the job and beyond. After all, these smaller achievements add up to what Aaron Jones, our Corporate Account Manager, calls the ultimate source of motivation: “Making a difference. In general.” 

How to stay motivated

For anyone on their job search journey, sustaining motivation is deeply important. At Cara, we have structures in place to ensure that both our participants and our team can always find motivation wherever they turn. From our morning Motivations sessions, a staple here at Cara, to the workshops we’ve designed to better prepare participants to find stable employment as well as the resources such as professional clothing and development-branded training we provide,  we are here every step of the way to help you keep moving forward to fulfill your sense of purpose. 

If you need help navigating the job-search journey and could use a little boost of motivation, see if Cara is the right fit for you and apply to join us today.