Building a Strong Work Ethic
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
No matter how tough life gets, if you give it your all at work, sooner or later, it will pay off. Staying positive, refusing to procrastinate, and maintaining your focus are all necessary ingredients in building a strong work ethic. You will find that the time, effort and discipline involved in doing this will be extremely rewarding to you in many ways.
Other strategies to become a great employee and colleague are to be dependable, meet deadlines and step up to fill unmet needs.
Let’s look a little bit closer at each of these methods needed to construct a sturdy work ethic:
1. Stay positive. You’ve probably heard the expression, “Attitude is everything.” That’s definitely true when you’re working on creating a resilient work ethic. Your work improves when you approach it with a positive attitude.
No matter what, staying positive about your tasks will help you become a rock star at work. You’ll not only stand out to your supervisor, but your colleagues will notice, too. Being positive will help you personally too. If you wake up feeling cranky, that’s ok. You know the saying, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” This can definitely be applied to your attitude.
2. Refuse to procrastinate. Although you may be tempted to put off doing certain tasks or projects, make “Do it right now,” your mantra. You’ll find that jobs are often done more quickly and easily that you expected. Instead of spending time obsessing and making yourself miserable thinking about it just get ‘er done!
3. Keep your focus. When your plans are clear, you’ll get more work done in less time. Put a sticky note on your calendar and computer. Organize your desk the day before you plan to start that huge project. Start focused and stay focused. Prioritize and give yourself mini-deadlines throughout the day. You’ll work like a machine when you devote your full attention to the subject at hand.
4. Set a goal to be dependable. When you go the extra mile to complete your work, people will learn to trust that when you’re given a job, you’ll do it.
5. Always meet deadlines. This point is crucial to developing a strong work ethic. Do whatever you have to do to meet a deadline. Of course, the best way to ensure you consistently meet deadlines is to negotiate in advance of taking on the task, so you have a bit of a say in the schedule.
6. Step up to fill unmet needs. Volunteering to take on gaps in labor makes every supervisor you work for the happiest person in the world.
When you follow these suggestions, you’ll develop great confidence in your work. Plus, you’ll discover that you built something durable for your future: a strong work ethic that will bring you pride, joy and enhance your professional brand.