• Jack Keeney, FHRC Social Media Manager

Developing Your Work Ethic

Certain abilities have helped you do well in school, even in sports, right? Didn't your teachers, advisors, and coaches teach you things like focusing on the task at hand, not getting distracted, time management, and interpersonal skills—to help you progress through school (and in personal and team sports)?

Remember, you definitely need key skills/abilities to get and hold jobs long term; hopefully continuing to advance to better positions, for higher pay, with more stimulating challenges to be faced and met.

However, succeeding at work involves more than just showing up, putting in a minimal amount of time and effort. To truly succeed in any occupation we need more than just technical skills. It takes having a term you may be familiar with: Work Ethic. For example, have you ever know two friends, who had somewhat equal ability in a certain area (like playing guitar), but one eventually was much better at it, simply by putting in more focused effort?

Work can be rewarding and interesting. Of course, sometimes it is frankly not too fun, and even boring at times. But, there is no way around that. Without a work ethic, you won't persevere when you need to. No matter how good you are at a certain set of skills, you just won't make it long-term without a strong work ethic.

Work Ethic is defined, by one source, as having the five components of:

  1. Reliability (dependability)

  2. Dedication (go beyond the bare minimum efforts to get tasks done)

  3. Productivity (getting much work done in a brief time period)

  4. Cooperation (work well with others; teamwork)

  5. Character (self-disciplined, honest, trustworthy)[i]

I remember when I was working, cashiering part-time at a Chevron station in the late 80's, in Boise, where I grew up. Our boss hired this young 15-year old to pump gas and start to help with basic mechanic work. He was almost too wet behind the ears to be working! But, he was so enthusiastic that even one gruff, somewhat mean mechanic couldn't diminish his drive, even though he looked down on him. This teen was just determined to make a go of it.

I still remember one day, someone came in with a screw or something stuck in his tire. This young guy pulled, twisted and pulled to get that screw out, even falling clear down on his back at one point! But, he got back up and got it done.

So, follow his lead and learn to become the reliable, dedicated, loyal and productive employee that your future supervisors will enjoy having around, AND will lead to true fulfillment and success for you in your chosen occupation.



[i]Erin, Schreiner. Demand Media. (2015). Five Characteristics of a Good Work Ethic. Houston Chronicle-Hearst Newspapers, LLC. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/five-characteristics-good-work-ethic-10382.html .

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags