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If You Want To Excel at Work, Try Improving Your Work Ethic — Here Are 9 Tips How

Of course, covering all the job requirements is vital, but there’s something more to it — our work ethic helps us navigate through success and workload.

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

I’m sure pretty much everyone at some point in their professional lives has googled tips on how to become better employees. We can read all about it — from advice on how to nail even the hardest of interviews to hints on how to get along with even the most stubborn of bosses.

In reality, the life of an employee is indeed filled with various challenges — there are times when things look more on the bright side; then again, there are instances when pretty much everything is going downhill. In both instances, I’ve witnessed the majority of employees (employers as well) rely on their professionalism to help them keep moving forward as successfully as possible.

But there’s another human trait that often adds to the work equation — essentially, that’s work ethic.

In today’s article, I’d like to dedicate my time and attention to the topic of work ethic since I strongly believe it’s vital for everybody’s professional development. You see, covering a job’s title requirements is crucial but the road doesn’t end there — sometimes there are instances when other characteristics help us even more on the path to growth and self-realization.

Work ethic in a nutshell — what is it and what it is not?

Let’s take a logical approach to the subject. Perhaps we should first explain what work ethic is, then we’ll add what it’s most certainly not. My experience has shown me that different people choose different types of understanding a certain topic only to find the clearest definition.

So work ethic is an accumulation of certain traits and characteristics that together help an individual build their moral compass and virtues in the context of professional development and career growth.

As you can see, this definition resembles more the inner world and predispositions of a certain individual, rather than their hard skill set. It describes how they view the entire work process with its many wrongdoings and right doings. With that being said, it’s perhaps safe to assume that having a work ethic is more about how you perceive your role in terms of work execution and professional collaborations, rather than whether or not you manage to cross out all the tasks for the day. It’s much bigger than that.

On the other hand, work ethic is certainly not a lot of things. Essentially, having a work ethic doesn’t mean putting yourself last in terms of professional development, especially if this development doesn’t correspond with your inner moral compass. Having a work ethic isn’t putting up with behaviors and relationships you don’t approve of — in fact, the people who have an abundance of work ethic often aims at improving the overall work environment only for everyone to feel better and more content.

But why is work ethic so important in the first place?

I often describe having a work ethic as allowing yourself to show what truly matters to you as an individual. Also, those who have a work ethic are often described as incredibly professional.

And usually, that’s true: An employee with an impeccable work ethic would likely show elevated levels of professionalism in various fields of their job position. Because in business and career growth, being professional doesn’t refer to being impeccable in your tasks only. It touches a plethora of other instances as well.

  • Punctuality
  • Being true to yourself
  • Being cooperative
  • Proactivity
  • Desire in improvement
  • Decisiveness
  • Constant curiosity
  • Being able to work in teams
  • Open-mindedness and flexibility

Of course, we can continue adding up to this list. Having a dazzling work ethic is surely something that cannot be measured in five, ten, or even twenty bullet points. But for now, let’s just say that the above-mentioned criteria are surely a skyrocketing beginning! Let’s dive a bit more into it.

We discuss 9 pieces of advice that can help you further elevate your work ethic

Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

Be punctual so that people can know you’re reliable

Punctuality is crucial when it comes to professional development. And I’m not referring to arriving at the office on time (although that is absolutely essential). Being punctual can refer to a majority of instances — from finishing up your tasks on time to building yourself an appropriate schedule so that you can ensure no duties will be forsaken somewhere along the road.

Being true to yourself has a lot to do with work ethic

What I mean by this is that you should always try to navigate your working schedule the way it enables you to excel at your job. For instance, if your boss suggests you work using a specific plan that you think won’t suit your needs and therefore would hurt your performance, you should say so. Being true to yourself in the context of making sure you’re able to give your 100% is in reality elevating your work ethic.

Cooperation is always a key

Even if you don’t belong to a team, you still have your boss. Being cooperative is crucial for your professional development since this trait enables you to benefit from great communication and a great working environment. Scheduling your tasks, being willing to lend a hand, and engaging in professional discussions with your manager will always help you establish a great and stable career.

In this day and age, proactivity is also crucial

Ever since the transformational leadership approach took place and turned into everybody’s favorite, proactivity is your golden ticket. Being proactive means you don’t need to be micromanaged at all times to finish up your tasks and duties. It also suggests that you’re creative enough to figure out your own ways of dealing with work matters.

Showing willingness to improve is surely going to take you places

In your professional life, there is always going to be room for improvement. If you express interest in keeping on moving forward, then you’d be willing to further elevate your professional skill set and abilities. Essentially, this means you’re expressing a great work ethic since your improvement closely correlates to the company’s improvement as well.

Usually, the employees with the greatest work ethic are the ones the most decisive

Decisiveness often strongly bonds with professionalism — there would be instances in your career where you’ll have to make important decisions fast. When you come to think about it, this also means that you’re reliable — your manager would likely delegate more and more important aspects of the work process if you show the capacity of getting things right. And reliability closely connects to work ethic.

Being curious connects to newly acquired skills and knowledge

This one loosely connects to the point where we discussed the importance of constant improvement — in order for an employee to do so, they need to further expand their knowledge regarding the business field they’ve been inhabiting. Curiosity can take us places — it’s this drive that sets the tone for our never-ending desire to know more, to be capable of more, to be more.

Teamwork is an excellent virtue when it comes to work ethic

If you’re working in a team, then, by all means, you should add to all the above-mentioned traits the ability to work in a team. Being part of one is surely a very interesting, intriguing, and sometimes challenging experience but it’s also very important for the project results. So being well-articulated, accepting other people’s opinions, and making room for change when necessary is again an incredible set of characteristics that shape a person’s work ethic.

Open-mindedness and flexibility would certainly benefit every employee

Forget about rigidity and stubbornness when we are referring to professional experiences. Being open-minded and flexible will definitely help anyone navigate through the ever-changing pathways that shape anybody’s career. So my advice is for you to embrace change and view it as this necessary predisposition that would be followed by better times.

In a nutshell

Having an amazing work ethic will certainly help you reach higher grounds in terms of professional development. You’ll witness how people will happily work with you and collaborate with you on various subjects. It also means that you deeply cherish your career growth — that’s essentially your golden ticket toward success!

Hi, guys, I’m Ivan, and I’m here to share with all of you my passion for words, great content, entrepreneurship, personal development, management, hobbies, and everything in between.

I serve as the CEO of my WordPress Development Agency @ Vipe Studio, where I have the pleasure to lead a diverse, wonderful and energetic team of experts. Feel free to contact me anytime — I would love to exchange new ideas and inspire each other!



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Ivan Popov

Ivan Popov


i was once an athlete. then a journalist. now i am a ceo of vipe studio. still running marathons though.