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HR Guru: 'Have no motivation to work'

May 18, 2022 13:25 IST

HR Guru Mayank Rautela offers practical advice.

Tired woman at office

IMAGE: Kindly note this image has only been posted for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy cottonbro/

Dear Reader, are you just starting out in your career and want to know the right steps you need to take?

Not sure how to prepare for your first interview? Or your first online interview?

Struggling with office politics? Or with working from home?

Have a bad boss? Or a colleague who is undermining you?

Nobody seems to listen to you at meetings?

Have you hit a dead-end at work and see no way out?

Please send in your concerns to our HR guru Mayank Rautela at (Subject: Mayank, can you help?).



Dear Mayank Sir,
I am facing a difficult problem both personally and professionally.
Last year, I took the decision to move back home, which is in a small town, because both my parents had survived COVID but have been facing major health issues since then.
I am their only child.
As a result, I had to leave a job where my prospects were very good and I was enjoying my work very much. Also, I was living in a big city, independent of my parents whom I love very much.
It is a struggle to be back at home with them. They still treat me like a small child with advice and questions at every step.
Workwise too, the job is a huge stepdown and the money, though decent, is less that what I used to earn. Responsibilities and challenges, which I used to enjoy, are less too.
I have to stay here for one more year at least before I can make plans to move out again.
The stress from home is spilling out at my job and the irritation at work is spilling out at home.
How do I handle this? Am going crazy.
Please help.


I appreciate the fact that you sacrificed your job to take care of your parents.

Ideally, you should go back to a larger city and restart your career. I am sure your past employer would be open to taking you back.

If that is not possible, then you need to have a candid discussion with your parents and make them understand that their constant involvement in your life is not acceptable.

They may be doing it out of love but, since it is negatively impacting you, they need to give you space.

Please don’t change your job in your hometown as that will further complicate your situation.


Dear Mayank Sir,
I have absolutely no motivation to work.
I go to work every day and do a good job.
The job is demanding. I get good reviews but I know how much I have to force myself to do it. I am tired.
I need the money. And I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I was not working.
How do I get my motivation back? How do I enjoy working again?
If you can help, I would be really grateful.


You must first analyse the reason for your demotivation. Unless you do that, it would not be possible to address your concern.

It could be your job role, your manager, the culture of your company or some personal issue.

Find a mentor at work or outside who can constantly guide and coach you.

Another thing you can do is have an open conversation with your manager and ask for his/her support.

Also, for you to be motivated at work, your personal life must be on track. Begin some fitness activity, pursue your hobbies and spend quality time with your family and friends. TAKE A VACATION!


Hi Mayank.
My question may seem silly but it bothers me a lot.
I don’t smoke or drink but in my office a lot of people do.
A lot of bonding and work stuff happens on cigarette breaks and when people go out after work for a drink.
I have tried joining but things get a bit awkward because I don’t smoke or drink.
How do I break this barrier?


First of all, I am really happy to know that you don't drink or smoke; that’s really healthy.

Please don’t start to do so under social pressure or to get connected at work.

You can speak to the management and ask them to organise informal gatherings where drinking and smoking is not allowed.

Also, connect with people over a cup of coffee or tea.

Look for people who have similar habits like yours and bond with them.


Dear Mayank,
Please keep my question anonymous.
There’s this lady in the workplace who is very good-looking and dresses that way too.
When she walks in, all the guys including me look at her.
She’s good at her job but I find myself getting too distracted by her.
We are a small office and the two of us have to work together quite a bit which makes it more difficult for me.
How do I handle this without being disrespectful?


I would strongly urge you to keep your feelings/attractions away from your workplace. Keep all relationships strictly professional.

Advise your colleagues to focus on their jobs and not on anything else.

Please don’t have casual discussions on this topic. Remember that if the lady feels uncomfortable, the law will support her if she decides to file a case.

Do your best at work and, after work, relax with friends and family.


Hello Mayank.
I came across your article on Impressed, am trying to reach you out for some guidance.
I am a lawyer from India, still enrolled at the bar. However, I moved to Australia in 2007 and now an Australian citizen working with a law firm since past seven years.
Now wish to return home (India) where I do not have any contacts. Hyderabad is where my parents are so considering this place. However, not ruling out other places.
What in your opinion should be my plan of action? Am 49.
I am unsure if you provide career advice/charge professional fees. If you do not, then a suitable reference will be appreciated.
I wish to stay anonymous until I succeed in what I intend doing. 
Thank you kindly.


Thank you.

Before I begin, let me first clarify that I do not assist the readers of this column with specific job opportunities.

In your case, you must use social platforms like LinkedIn to connect with companies/professionals who can help you get a suitable role.

Since you have been away from India for a while, you might want to do a course to update yourself about Indian laws.

Alternately, you can look for jobs in companies based in India that specialise in international law.

Mayank Rautela is the chief human resources officer at Care Hospitals.

He is a management graduate from the Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies and holds a master's degree in labour laws from Pune University.

He has over two decades of experience in the field of general management, strategic human resources, global mergers and integrations and change management.

He has held various leadership positions across marquee companies, including the Piramal Group, the Tata Group and multinational healthcare organisations like CR Bard and Becton & Dickinson.

Please send in your workplace concerns to Mayank Rautela at (Subject: Mayank, can you help?), along with your name, age, where you work (eg, Mumbai, Lucknow, Agartala) and job profile. Do let us know if you wish to keep your question anonymous.

Please Note: This column is an advisory and not a recruitment service.

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