CAREER DEVELOPMENT / APR. 12, 2014
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How to Develop a Good Work Ethic

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Maya Angelou said, “Nothing will work unless you do.” That is a simple yet profound statement. If you want to succeed in life, you are your main obstacle. You need to do the work in order to have your life work out for you. This article discusses how to develop a good work ethic. It is something that has always been necessary, but especially so in today’s professional climate. For every job you apply for, multiple others are applying for the same job. When you find work, you need to do your best to keep your job. How can you do that? By having a good work ethic which helps you maintain professional credibility and work performance.

# 1 Work is Work so Resolve to Do the Tedious Tasks

Wisdom from Voltaire tells us that “work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice and need.” The definition of work is “something that one is doing, making, or performing, especially as an occupation or undertaking such as a duty or task.” (Source: The Free Dictionary) Let’s face facts. Work is work and it’s not meant to be fun. True, fun can be brought into your day, but you need to resolve yourself to facts. Work is going to take effort on your part. If you don’t want to expend any effort, your employer is not going to disperse any paycheck for services rendered.  

# 2 Be Punctual and Treat Your Job with Respect

In an annual survey from Harris Interactive, the results indicated “that the most common excuse employees have given for not showing up to work is being sick.” However, according to that survey, 30% of workers were not actually sick when calling in. This shows that a good percentage of people don’t value a good work ethic. It is important for you to be punctual. Treat your job with respect. Whether you’re a manager or a clerk at the grocery store, every job is important. Once you realize that factor, it will go a long way toward helping you develop your work ethic and excel at your job.

# 3 Develop Self-Discipline and Set Professional Goals

Setting goals helps you to become more self-disciplined. This in turn assists you in developing a good work ethic. There are three types of goals: immediate, short-term and long-term.

  • So what could be one of your immediate goals? Make a list of your current job description and write a second list of what you like about your job and what you don’t like. This will show you where you stand and what you’d like to see changed.
  • A short-term goal could be to find a motivational speaker you’d like to learn from and follow him or her on Facebook, twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Start to read one of this person’s books. If they have a newsletter, sign up to receive it and any other motivational weekly or monthly tips.
  • For a long term goal, sign up for an online learning course or take a course at your local community college.

# 4 Find Opportunities for Self Development and Growth

Self-improvement will always work together in conjunction with developing a good work ethic. Motivational Authors & Speakers like Herbert Armstrong, author of The Seven Laws of Success and others like: Stephen Covey, Aaron Kennard and Peter W. Murphy are excellent sources of learning self-development. The following Khan Academy, Free-Ed, GCF Learn Free offer free online learning courses that you can take to further develop your education. This self-development promotes professional growth.

# 5 Maintain a Balance of Work and Play in Your Job

All work and no play makes for a dull day. If you don’t find a way to balance work and play into your day, you will start to digress in maintaining a professional outlook. This in turn will not help to continually develop your work ethic. Contact your human resource department to ascertain what types of programs they offer to assist in employee professional development. Check if they offer any healthy living programs. If your office doesn’t have any such programs in place, think outside the box and start something to bring some fun into the workplace.

Learning how to develop a good work ethic is not difficult. It takes a decision to make a positive difference in your life. Remember that work is going to take effort. You need to respect your job and be punctual. Developing self-discipline helps to promote professional growth. Think outside the box and find opportunities for self-development. Bringing fun into the workplace helps you to develop a good work ethic because it brings the balance you need to appreciate your job.

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