I was thinking about work and trying to think about what matters in that context. At a high level, there are 3 things that come to the top of the list for me.
- I get an opportunity to make a difference (I have a positive impact)
- I get a chance to work on something that I am passionate about
- I get a chance to work with smart people
If the above mentioned three things exist, then I am excited about what I am doing and want to give my very best. Recognition and rewards are something that I believe will follow sooner or later.
I was asked this question recently when I was takling to a team internally and I thought this is pretty much what I think most if not all people expect. As long as we can create such an environment, great people will come and great things will happen.