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A strong work ethic is a sought-after skill many companies & customers long for but are often left wanting. Let’s have a look at what it is, and how you can use it to progress in your business.

Work ethic, like any other skill, can be learned, developed and improved.

Better yet, having a strong work ethic will put you ahead of your competition, since most people go through life doing just enough to get by.

So, what is a good work ethic?

Consider for a moment the meaning of work ethic taken from the Urban Dictionary:  

Work Ethic: The apparently foreign concept that people should work hard to get the job done no matter how much they’re being paid.

This definition summarises it beautifully. The concept is apparently foreign since it suggests that you will have to do more than what you are being paid for.

I can understand how that would be upsetting. If you consider financial remuneration the only benefit you get for work done, then this becomes a scratch where you don’t have an itch. But this is exactly the slight edge between being successful and being average.

Do you want to leave your mark in a good way, live a fulfilled life and know you will always leave a trail of satisfied customers where you go, then read on…

Benefits Of Having A Strong Work Ethic

  • Financial – the obvious one, obviously. You get paid for work done. It may not be an instant gratification short-term, but in the long run will allow you to negotiate or dictate your income because you brand yourself as someone who goes above and beyond.
  • Promotion – This goes hand in hand with financial. If you’re in a company structure where there is opportunity for growth, delivering more than expected will place you in a favourable position when the time for promotions come along. In other words, you will stand out by being outstanding.   
  • Business growth – a good work ethic will naturally lead to more customer satisfaction and will turn your clients into ambassadors for your product or service, allowing you to benefit from the best free marketing in the world: word of mouth.
  • Improved Mental Health ­– Knowing that you have delivered your best work gives you a release of dopamine & endorphins, the feel-good hormones, which improves your mood, productivity, focus and long-term memory.
  • Greater Work Satisfaction – Because you’re investing more in the work you deliver, you will be more inclined to deliver better work. It becomes an upward cycle that will allow you to reap the above-mentioned benefits and as a result you will begin to get more enjoyment and satisfaction form your work. It literally becomes what you make of it.

5 Ways To Develop A Stronger Work Ethic

Be predictable & consistent

As I mentioned before, your work ethic can be developed. Here are a few actionable steps you can implement starting today. They will help you develop a stronger work ethic, get more done, and improve your reputation.decide on your routine. The time you wake up, time you show up, time you go home, time you eat, time you go to bed. And then STICK to it. Yes, distractions will happen. However, being predictable and consistent helps others understand how to treat you when it comes to your work. You will empower yourself to set healthy boundaries that can be respected.

7 P’s of success

Propper Prior Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance. Decide what you want to accomplish. Break it down into the various milestones, tasks and actions that need to be done to get there. You want a roadmap to your goals. Planning ahead is the first step in getting where you want to go.

Plus-One Routine

when you reach the end of a project, look for one more thing you can do just for the sake of adding value. Then do that. This is the zone where “above and beyond” is developed. A simple example is the small act of adding a handwritten thank you note on a product before shipping it out for delivery.

Productive Diversions

There will be times when you don’t feel like it, and your motivation may fail you. Instead of calling it a day and flopping down in front of Netflix, do something else that interests you. This does not have to be work related. It must be something that also has a productive edge to it. For example, at the end of a long day of problem solving, dealing with people and hustling your backside off, do something simple. It can be as basic as doodling, going for a walk or sitting in your garden. It will provide a positive distraction that will benefit your mental and physical health instead of pulling you into a vegetative state in front of a screen.


Use an app such as Pomodoro for this (or even just your run of the mill kitchen timer). Set the timer and get going. While you’re working, allow yourself a chance to work without judging what you do. Get whatever you’re doing out there in a raw form without interruption. Then once the timer is up, evaluate your work. Find the areas where there is a gap that needs filling. Then spend the next unit of time filling that gap. As you repeat this process, you will develop a better understanding of your own standards and where the areas are that allow you to add additional value.

What Next?

If you’re uncertain of your own level of work ethic, ask a friend. Get feedback from your colleagues, friends and family. Be open to hear what they say and evaluate the feedback you get. When it comes to improving as human beings, it is important to be open to feedback and have a growth mindset. It will allow us to look our inadequacies in the face and take the necessary steps to changing them.

We would love your feedback on the Soft Skills blog series so far. Please comment below and tell us what you love and would like to read more of.

Please remember to like and share this post if it brought you value.

Until next time!

The Skillz Trader Team

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