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Being competitive: Why it will get you ahead

April 12, 2015, 3:00 PM UTC
Courtesy of Ruder Finn, Inc.

MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: How do you stay motivated at work? is written by Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn.

Motivation is what fuels us–it’s why we get out of bed in the morning, it’s why we try new things, and it’s what keeps us inspired in our careers. Here are three things–the three Cs–that keep me energized at work:

It’s important to be part of a team that forms a larger community at work. Not only does it make work more fun, but it’s also inspiring to watch your team come together with new ideas. Everyone can get into a rut at work from time to time—this will prevent that. A great community is comprised of viewpoints from every level of the organization, providing novel ideas and a strong social camaraderie that makes everyone want to participate.

As a professional, I’ve always had a profound passion for being the best in the industry I’m pursuing. However, for me being the best doesn’t mean being the biggest, instead it’s about outpacing your competition. You have to watch your competitors and their benchmarks. Always be ready to make bold moves—and accept the risks that come with them. Competition keeps work exciting, and perhaps more importantly, challenging. These challenges will make you stronger and enable you to turn aspirations into realities.

I believe that having a healthy curiosity and hunger for knowledge is key to generating enthusiasm. This is what drives us to check our email first thing in the morning, stay on top of current events, and continuously check our iPhone (we all do it)–the need to constantly be learning. Curiosity motivates us to explore new avenues, try new things and push ourselves (and our colleagues) to stay engaged.

Read all answers to the MPW Insider question: How do you stay motivated at work?

The art of staying motivated at work by Beth Fisher-Yoshida, director of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program at Columbia University.

The best lesson I learned from joining a board by Juliet de Baubigny, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

5 secrets to stay motivated at work by Sarah Robb O’Hagan, president of Equinox.

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