What the Heck is Work Ethic?

Posted on November 4, 2011. Filed under: Career, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

According to dictionary.com, work ethic is “a belief in the moral benefit and importance of work and its inherent ability to strengthen character.”  Okay, but what does it look like, and why should you care?

What Work Ethic Looks Like

A person possessing a good work ethic arrives at work a few minutes early, they don’t drop everything just because the clock says it is break time, and they offer to help others get their work done when theirs is finished.  That’s not an all-inclusive list, but I think it gives you an idea.  Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that they don’t take breaks when they need to or occasionally enjoy some down time on the clock, but they understand the value of hard work.

Why Should You Care

I could write all day long about the personal and character building benefits of hard work, but since that’s not feasible here is just a sampling; it gives you a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of worth, and overall allows you to feel good about yourself and your place in the world.  Of course, this is assuming that you enjoy the work you are doing. (But, that’s a blog topic for another day!)

While I would argue that the personal benefits of a solid work ethic are reason enough to care, there is another compelling reason for employees and job seekers to care. Today CareerBuilder.com published statistics on the topic of what employers are NOT looking for, or what they call “employer turnoffs.” Four of the five items listed could be described as demonstrating poor work ethic; unwillingness to work when needed, negativity, selfishness, and no commitment to the organization.

I am a firm believer in a strong work ethic as the single most important factor that will set you apart from other employees or job applicants.  That’s why you should care.  That’s it.

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One Response to “What the Heck is Work Ethic?”

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Hi Vicki,

I couldn’t agree with you more. When you have an employee with a poor work ethic, it sucks the energy right out of the office, The reverse is true, as well. Even one person dedicated to doing a great job and taking their job seriously can change the dynamic in the room. We so often talk about teams and team building in the workplace. I’ve never seen one that didn’t have a strong work ethic at its core.

Thanks for a great post. It’s shareworthy.


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