Building A Good Work Ethic

Building a Good Work Ethic

In the professional world, every company is looking for people who will not only follow a vision, but will carry the vision of the company themselves.

A good work ethic is definitely needed for this. It is what in the future will help you accomplish more than just average and be on the front line of success.

What is work ethic?

The biggest mistake we make when it comes to defining work ethic is that we imagine those people who pretty much are over achievers.

Yes, that one person that would normally want to be the first in everything, that control freak that does not get tired of being seen and keeps trying to earn approval from their boss by staying at work long after-hours and even taking it home with them.

On the other hand, we all find it annoying when we are affected by a co-worker who is always late, is not responsible, does not finish their tasks on time and still gets paid for it either because they did it gracefully or just because they knew how to excuse themselves.

Work Ethic defined by Webster’s dictionary is “A system of values in which central importance is ascribed to work, or purposeful activity, and to qualities of character believed to be promoted by work”.

It is literally the value YOU place on what you do, and because of this it ends up being personal.

Born or developed?

On a weekly basis, as part of my internship, I lead a team of at least 16 people who are in charge of setting up, developing and maintaining set designs.

Last week, I was talking the team through some details we should be looking out for, when one of the team members approached me.
She said she was very inspired by the excellence of my work and my attention to detail. Then, she continued to ask if this was something I grew up with or something I watched and learned from my leaders.

I replied that it was something I grew up with, for my parents always taught me that whatever I do, should be done well or not done at all. At the same time, attention to detail is something I definitely watched and learned from my leaders, for this is something I would not have thought of a few years ago.

The way you approach work will definitely be molded by your experience, and examples throughout life. Values like “Play now, pay later” or the other way around are things that are not specifically right or wrong, but as you adapt yourself to your new working environment, you can recognise which way of doing things will take you further or benefit you the most in the long run.

What values constitute a good work ethic?

Even though these cannot be generalised, there are some foundations that no matter where you apply them, will help the company move forward and help you grow personally.

1. Integrity

Companies want to trust their employees, they want to know that they can rely on you to get the job done and do it the right way. At the end of the day you carry the name of the company and the way you deal with life will not only affect you but the reputation of those you work for.

I love the quote by James Patterson:

“Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls…are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”

Integrity is something that is not only applied at work, but it definitely is revealed in the working environment.

2. Excellence

In the creative office where I currently do my internship there is a frame hanging that quotes: “Strive for excellence, not perfection”.

As a perfectionist, I was actually forever grateful for this quote. I learned with time and through different experiences that excellence is not an act, but a habit, a way of living. And opposite to what we normally think, excellence is actually not about being perfect, but giving your best.

Thankfully your best can always increase, so being excellent as well will include more and more as your capacity increases.

3. Responsibility

Henry Wadsworth quotes:
“It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong”.

This statement is true in all its ways.

If we think about it, the company that hired you, did it so that you could get a job done. They trust that as you encounter challenges you will be able to overcome them and grow professionally. It is on you though, to find a way to overcome those challenges, even with help if you need it.

For at the end of the day, you are responsible for what you do with what you have been given.

Hope this tips are helpful for you. Let us know, what else constitutes a good work ethic?

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1 Comment

  1. jasyon

    Thanks for a great article, has really helped me!

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