Picture source: Most Valued Business
Work ethic is an attribute that employers value in every industry. Demonstrating values associated with a good work ethic will help you increase your employability and get better job opportunities. Employees with good work ethics are often considered by employers for special projects because they are seen as reliable, dedicated, and disciplined. Being ambitious and determined to do your job well means you often have a strong work ethic that makes you a valuable employee who is passionate about self-improvement. Knowing how to demonstrate a strong work ethic when looking for a job will increase your employability and position yourself as a qualified candidate.
Although many traits reflective of strong work ethic may come naturally to us, they can also be learned, developed, and sharpened. Here’s some tips on how to start.
1. Follow the lead of peers, mentors, and bosses
If you are a "newbie" at work, the best way to learn is to observe. Pay attention to how your co-workers behave during meetings to better understand their "etiquette" and their style of communicating with different people and teams. For example, some workplaces require employees to prepare agendas before meetings and be punctual. Others are more casual. Some companies have formal communication practices around status updates, while others simply ask her to send her a quick Slack message. Depending on where you work, deadlines may be strict or flexible. By observing others and following their examples, you can better understand what a company or manager thinks of good work ethics.
2. Develop self-discipline
Being reliable, dependable, and productive at work requires self-discipline. Self-discipline is a skill that makes you appear more professional to your colleagues and superiors. To develop self-control, you need to understand how to maintain self-control and energy. Think about which tasks are easy for you to complete (gives you energy) and which tasks feel more difficult (tiring). Next, think about which tasks will have the biggest impact on your company, which tasks will help you achieve your goals, and which tasks are low priority. Spend most of your time doing work that energizes you while contributing to meaningful work and goals for your company.
3. Re-prioritize each day, and start it strong
Managing your time wisely at all times will enhance your reputation for professionalism and integrity. This is a skill that will help you deliver high-quality work, even with rapidly changing priorities and a fast-paced work environment. Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to think about what you need to do. The key is to find a balance between tasks that are urgent and need to be done today and tasks that contribute to longer-term but equally important projects. Organize your schedule using strategies like timeboxing. Make sure you not only have enough time to meet your immediate deadlines, but also make sure you have time to move forward with larger projects. Even 30 minutes each morning can make a difference.
4. Think like an owner
The key to building a good work ethic is adopting a "do it like it's your thing" attitude. This can be achieved by being proactive in small but impactful ways. If you don't understand something, for example, the purpose of a task, the execution of a task, or an unclear goal, ask questions for clarification. If you have suggestions for a different course of action, please bring them up as well. But please make suggestions respectfully. Continue to strive to find the right level of autonomy that feels good to both you and your boss.
5. Hold the team interests higher than your own
It’s easy to get focused on your day-to-day tasks and what it takes to get you promoted or rewarded at work. But don’t be the lone wolf who comes in, gets their work done, and berates others when they fail to meet deadlines. Instead, consider a different approach. When someone lets you down, think about how you can support them so that the entire team will benefit. Embrace your inner team player and try different strategies for working smoothly with your peers, such as having a courageous conversation to understand their differing perspective, or recognizing that if your idea wasn’t adopted, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t valuable, simply hold on to it for another time.
Source: Harvard Business Review, Indeed