Margaret Adams

Well, what do you think? Can people working in FE colleges and similar organisations remain motivated?

There is lots of evidence suggesting that more than half the people in the UK workforce are unhappy at work. Both Gallup and YouGov have made points about the mood of the workforce when analysing the results of their surveys. What people do seem to be motivated by is a desire to leave their current role and find another job. Almost half the workforce in the UK is on the lookout for a better job – right now.

The question about remaining motivated is relevant to FE. Here are three things to do to help you and your motivation.

Avoid Negative People

I remember when I worked in FE I had to attend a meeting of managers once a week. Whenever I attended that meeting, I found the discussions to be about:

“How many years is it until I can retire?”


“How much sick leave do people in all our teams take – and is it sanctioned? Can it be increased?”


“How many residential courses do you think I can get away with attending each term?”

Usually the attendees moved on to discussing the agenda, but not always,

Did you know that your disposition and your feelings about your work are influenced to a very great extent by the people with whom you associate? Some neurologists say you are a composite of the five people with whom you spend most of your time. Others suggest the more than you have to deal with demotivated people, the more likely you are to become demotivated yourself.

The members of the group I mentioned above, who met once a week, were demotivated, demoralised and unhappy. They reinforced their negative feelings about their work and themselves each time they met.

My solution, at the time, was to stop attending the weekly meetings because I had found something really “important” that I had to do at that time in the week. In other words, I made sure I avoided negative people.

Work Out If The Pay Levels Bother You

If you believe pay levels are really important, ask yourself why you accepted your current position. There are rarely many secrets about remuneration packages, salary scales and likely progression in FE.

A YouGov survey, undertaken in 2017, asked if individual respondents would rather have a job they hated, but which paid extremely well, or if they would prefer a job they really loved that has low pay levels. 64% of the respondents said they would rather have a job they loved, even when the pay was poor.


All of this suggests that you should look for work you like and put your interests before your pay.

If you know you really need more money to meet your commitments, ask yourself if you can honestly expect your pay to improve significantly over the next few years. When you have worked out your answer, you will know what is probably causing your sense of frustration and demoralisation. You will then be in a position to plan for the future.

Become A Volunteer

When considering how to improve your motivation, think about volunteering. If you do, then choose something you like doing and are enthusiastic about, whether this is at work or outside work.

Your volunteering efforts could bring you into contact with different people, especially people who are enthusiastic about what they are doing. At the very least, you will gain something new to put on your LinkedIn profile or add to your CV. Your new enthusiasms could spill over into your work, too.

If you want to avoid becoming, or remaining, apathetic, do something. Avoid letting yourself become cynical. Find ways to enhance your optimism and rebuild your motivation.

You And Motivation

For the coming weeks, remember, if you are not motivated in your current role, there are things you can do right now to make life better. Becoming well motivated is not about learning new tricks and techniques, it is about realism.

Therefore, make a commitment to yourself to spend more time with motivated and upbeat people at work and outside work. Also make sure you are honest with yourself about how much you can realistically expect to be paid now and in the next few years.

Take the advice in this article to heart and before long, your colleagues will probably be approaching you because they recognise you are such a positive and well-motivated person.

Margaret Adams is former FE lecturer and college manager. Today she writes about self-improvement and career management for professionals. Find her books on Amazon

Margaret Adams Newsroom Strap

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Newsroom Activity

Solvendis added a new event 10 hours

Effective Self Assessment & Improvement Planning (Zoom...

The self-assessment process is, further, the key way in which providers can measure the effectiveness of their provision against the EIF. Under the...

  • Friday, 07 August 2020 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page