Work ethics are highly individual and personalized, but there are a few things which everyone agrees should be a part of one’s work ethic. These things include showing up to work on time, dressing appropriately and speaking well of your coworkers, even if they are being difficult.
What is it that you want to do? It is important for you to think of how you want to be in your career. People who are always late, rushed, messy and apologetic do not come across as having strength of character or self discipline. People who are ahead of schedule, timely, orderly and strong come across as leaders who deserve promotions. Stop lying to yourself and think: how do you appear to others? Do you show the same face to your family that you show to your boss? Part of developing a work ethic is keeping work in the workplace and family at home. You should be kinder and more generous and loving with your family, but do not allow yourself to vent and rant in the workplace.
How do you want to see yourself? Do you know that you are setting an example for the other employees in how you dress, your efficiency and your positive attitude? Are you sure that they hold you in respect or just in fear? When you look at yourself, be critical but honest. Do not judge where judgment is not needed but ask yourself if you are stepping it up. If your spouse saw the way you do your job, would they be impressed? If your children witnessed some of your behavior, would you be ashamed?
Develop a work appearance, a work attitude and a demeanor with which to greet unruly clients or coworkers. Then, fake it until you become that person. We all have the ability to make ourselves over and become different, better people. What is so obvious that you cannot even deny it to yourself?
What will you be known for? People talk about their coworkers, employees and business associates all of the time. What do you want to be known for? What do you want people to say when they talk about you? Will it be your attitude, or your immaculate appearance? Will they gossip about your constant complaints over your health, or discuss what your spouse did yesterday? Perhaps you are known for sharing too much information, or perhaps you don’t share enough and you are seen as cold and distant. If you have friends among your coworkers, you might adopt an attitude of non-judgmental acceptance and ask them if they can think of anything that you could do to improve yourself.
Your work ethic is part of your personal ethics, not separate from them. How you conduct yourself in the office, in public and around strangers says a lot about how you conduct yourself in any part of your life. Who knows? Improving your work ethic could even improve your personal relationships.