One of the most valuable soft skills you can develop is how to exhibit a strong work ethic.  Having a positive attitude and a strong work ethic both go hand in hand.  Your positive attitude will increase your productivity, which in turn will help you build strong relationships with your fellow team members and manager.  This can be invaluable when problems arise and you need the support of your team members or co-workers.

Work Ethic Meaning

“Work ethic is a belief that hard work and diligence have a moral benefit and an inherent ability, virtue or value to strengthen character and individual abilities. It is a set of values centered on importance of work and manifested by determination or desire to work hard”Wikipedia

Strong work ethicYou build a solid work ethic not just working for a pay check but by finding gratitude and value in the job you are doing.  It’s true that our salary and benefits are an important part of why we are working.  However, getting satisfaction from the work you do and not just the financial compensation it provides will enable you to grow and thrive in your position.  It’s a sad fact that not everyone loves what they do and considers the job a reward in itself but maybe if they looked a little deeper in what their work provides them in terms of non material satisfaction, they might enjoy their job more.  Non material satisfaction can come in many forms like the teacher who gets satisfaction from seeing his students learn to the medical doctor who has provided a cure for her patient.

Work Ethic Examples

Depending on where you are in the chain of command in the company you work for, it may not always be apparent as to the overall goal your job is trying to accomplish.  However, examples of behavior that demonstrate a good work ethic are actually quite straight forward such as arriving to work on time and performing your absolute best on your job duties. The following are some examples that reflect a persons good work ethic.

  • Arrive to work on time each day.  This means you may need to arrive a little bit early so you can perform any setup or opening procedures before your starting time.
  • Put in a full days work.  If your day typically ends at 5:00 p.m., you will be expected to work until that time.  Never leave your job early without permission as that will be the time your boss comes looking for you.
  • Do not conduct personal business on company time.  Companies today can monitor both your email and internet activity so save your online shopping and personal emails for when you are at home.
  • Don’t call in sick for personal days off.  Everyone needs a day off once in a while for appointments or family reasons.  Make an ethical decision to request a vacation day or personal day off instead of calling in sick.
  • Refrain from saying negative things about your job, fellow employees or manager.
  • Be accountable for your actions.  If you say you will do something or complete a particular task, make sure you do it.

So you can see, having a strong work ethic not only helps you find none material satisfaction in the work you do but also shows that you are committed to your company goals.  Developing a positive attitude and solid work ethic is key to your professional development and career plan.

Having a good work ethic is just one of the many important soft skills required in business today.  Improve your office skills by taking the course, Soft Skills for Administrative Professionals, a soft skills training course offered on


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