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How Do I Develop Good Work Ethics?

Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Updated May 16, 2024
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As an employee, you will be expected to work hard and be punctual, even when you dislike the job. Developing good work ethics can be difficult in this case, but not impossible. Start by determining your career goals and have a clear understanding of what kind of work you want to do in the long term. Think about how your current job will help you achieve those goals, and remember that getting ahead is often less about your skills and more about developing good relationships. You must develop good work ethics in order to develop such relationships, so start by thinking about how you interact with colleagues.

Developing strong interpersonal relationships will not only help you develop good work ethics, but will also help you get ahead in your career. It may be wise to take part in a communication class at a local community college to learn more about this important skill, though savvy employees can begin working on interpersonal relationships immediately by learning how to actively listen to peers, resolve disputes, avoid conflict, and help others achieve their goals. By becoming a team player, you are positioning yourself to get ahead and developing good work ethics that will help you throughout your career.

Working hard can be tiring, but training yourself to work hard for a set period of time and then rest your mind for short periods of time can help you get through tedious and mundane tasks. Start by tackling the hardest or most tedious tasks first; allot the first hour or two of your work day to the jobs you hate to do. Once those are out of the way, you will be less stressed and more likely to be productive. Good work ethics include increased productivity, but they also include quality work; do not be afraid to take breaks and clear your mind so you can put forth your best work consistently.

Think carefully about your daily habits and how you might improve them. Set small goals, such as ensuring you are on time for work every day, to keep yourself focused on good job performance. If you find yourself avoiding work at a certain time consistently every day, try to schedule low-stress activities for this time of day and tackle harder tasks when you are feeling your most fresh and organized. You will need to pay attention to your daily moods and work habits to identify your most productive times and your least productive times, which can take several weeks or months, but the long-term payoff is better job performance.

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Discussion Comments

By truman12 — On Jun 25, 2012

How do you really know if you have a good work ethic? It seems like there is always someone who can work harder. If you lift 50 pounds they lift 75. If you work 70 hours they work 80. What is a good work ethic when there is always someone who is better?

By tigers88 — On Jun 24, 2012

What are good work ethics really? I am serious, I think this is a more complicated question than it usually gets credit for.

I guess what I am really wondering is, what are the things that we are supposed to be working hard at? Is it making money, is it being happy, is it family, or mind or body? Ideally we would work hard at everything but inevitably you have to prioritize on some things.

I think their are people who appear to be hard workers or to have a strong work ethic that end up neglecting important things in their lives. Think of the businessman who spends his life at the office and rarely sees his family. He is working hard but is that really a virtue in this case? There is lots to think about and I am not the first to puzzle over this question. Definitely something to keep in mind though.

By backdraft — On Jun 24, 2012

I am a father of four kids and this is a question I ask myself all the time. How do I get my kids to be hard workers? Not just in school but in all things. And not just now but for the rest of their lives. I haven't really come up with a good answer.

I think laziness is one of the worst human qualities. I have known so many people who were undone by it. I love my kids and they are all, in their own ways, hard workers. But I want to make sure that they are always pushing themselves, always striving to be as good as they can be. That takes work and commitment.

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