Do you know folks who work long hours, but get little done? They spend more time complaining about their workload than actually doing the work. And when they’re not whining or complaining about their organization, they’re gossiping or criticizing what other people do (ugh).
I’m sure you know these folks, and I do too. They have little to show for a so-called “hard” day’s work. And yet, because they put in the time “working,” they think they have a strong work ethic.
Just because you’re at work…doesn’t mean you’re working.
13 Key Ingredients of a Strong Work Ethic
A work ethic is a set of essential values that strengthens your character, boosts your career, and leads to a more fulfilling life. In addition, a strong work ethic is instrumental in helping you — and your organization — achieve success.
Here are 13 principles to help guide your behavior. A strong work ethic involves being:
- Conscientious. Do you put your heart into your work?
- Driven. Do you hold yourself, and others, to a high standard?
- Dependable. Do you consistently exhibit trustworthy behavior?
- Positive. Do you possess a can-do attitude?
- Respectful. Do you show kindness and consideration to others?
- Accountable. Do you accept responsibility for your actions?
- Courageous. Do you run toward a problem rather than away from it?
- Ambitious. Do you exhibit a continuous desire to learn?
- Cooperative. Do you serve as a helpful and considerate team member?
- Productive. Do you work hard and work smart?
- Dedicated. Do you display unwavering commitment and loyalty?
- Fair. Do you earn your rewards or demand them?
- Honorable. Do you conduct yourself with integrity, always trying to do what’s right?
By practicing the above principles, you will not only develop a strong work ethic but a high degree of professionalism as well.
A Strong Work Ethic Is Hard Work
People who have a strong work ethic set high expectations, exhibit a can-do attitude, show up for work with a bounce in their step, and try to do their best at all times. That means never saying you’re finished until you make yourself proud. You won’t find these folks making excuses or pointing fingers; they accept full responsibility for their actions. People who have a strong work ethic are kind and considerate, serve as a good team player, and bring out the best in others. They are professional, dependable, and fair. As for personal growth, having a strong work ethic means that you continually invest in yourself, always striving to do better and to be better. After all, if you do anything less, you’re only letting yourself down. Most of all, people who possess a strong work ethic serve as a positive role model by living with honor and integrity and doing what’s right.
Judge your successes by the sacrifices made to achieve them.
At the end of the day, it’s not the money, power, or prestige that you acquire that defines success; the real reward is the journey, not the destination. While a bigger house, fancy title, or sizable bank balance may bring momentary pleasure, it will never lead to a sense of fulfillment. The real reward of success is the feeling of accomplishment that you gain from overcoming a challenge, becoming a better person, and making a difference in someone’s life. Don’t kid yourself. Maintaining a strong work ethic and achieving success will require hard work, sacrifice, and determination. Remember, you’re not doing it to win accolades or to impress others; you’re doing it for yourself. Your journey won’t be easy, but the rewards are well worth it. They will give your work meaning and your life purpose. If you think this requires a lot of hard work, you’re right. But bear in mind, it’s a lot harder to face yourself every day, knowing that you didn’t try.
What Are Your Thoughts?
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Never Lower Your Personal Standards. Never!