What’s Your Work Ethic?

A team member and I were talking recently about annual reviews, motivation, and work ethics. Part of our discussion was about how did we come to have our work ethic.

Where do we get our work ethic?

School was not a big thing for them as they never worried about getting a bad grade. I had always enjoyed school and got fairly decent grades overall. There were a couple of high school classes in which I did allow myself to get distracted, and one that I just absolutely hated because of how the teacher taught the class. He taught in the most disengaging style ever.

For them, it wasn’t really family members as role models, at least that they could recall. I do credit my mom for at least part of my work ethic. For a couple of years, I had the privilege of working with, and learning from, my mom. She was a cook for a restaurant. On weekends, we would get up at the crack of dawn, get to the restaurant, turn on the country’s top 40 countdown, and get busy prepping for the breakfast hour. The timing I have when cooking comes from watching her put things on the grill or in the fryer at just the right time to all be cooked and on the plate, or plates if the same table, to go out in a timely manner. Watching how hard she worked, that one should never be idle at work because you are getting paid to work (something always needs cleaning, peeled, sliced, or put away), so you need to earn the money you are being paid.

Although I didn’t really work that much with my dad, on the few occasions I did, he had a similar thought in that do it well the first time and you won’t have to do it again. He also always seemed to be busy.

All of this has had an effect on my adult working ethic. Once I’m finished with what I am supposed to do, I tend to look to see what else needs to be done, or ask if anyone else needs help (I hear my mom’s voice in my mind, “There’s always something needing to be done.”).

I know I’m not the only one with a strong work ethic, there are so many of us. It still is a curiosity though, of how we all developed our good work ethic. Where did you get yours?

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