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Checklist: Are You Demonstrating a Strong Work Ethic?

On17/ 01 /19

Having a strong work ethic - a set of moral principles that an employee uses in the performance of his or her job - is one of the most sought-after traits in an ideal job candidate.  

According to a survey conducted by Bentley University, “23% of business decision-makers and 18% of corporate recruiters identify work ethic as crucial”, as it helps to establish standards of honesty, loyalty and fairness within the organisation. 

Embodying a strong work ethic can also set you up for success and can be the determining factor in just how well you’ll do in both your career and your life. 

But how do you know where you are on the work ethic spectrum? Take a look at our checklist below for five top habits you should be demonstrating in your career right now. 

√ Are you professional?


The word ‘professionalism’ tends to be commonly mistaken as meaning your physical appearance in the workplace, when it actually has far more to do with your behaviour in the workplace. 

The key characteristics that demonstrate high levels of professionalism are often subtle things done on a daily basis - such as respecting company policies, treating company property with care, treating your colleagues with respect, consistently delivering a high standard of work and effective time management. 

If you want to come across as a professional in the workplace, make sure that your day at work is as organised as possible and that your general attitude fits well with the office culture. For example, if you find working with others a bit difficult sometimes, make sure that you speak to them about your concerns (diplomatically and in a business-like manner!). Try not to gossip behind your co-workers’ backs, as this can put you in a negative light with your line manager and other senior colleagues.

√ Are you a good team player?


Developing a healthy relationship with your co-workers is vital for both your employer’s success and your own professional profile. Even if you are used to working fairly autonomously, remember that you are still part of a wider organisation in which everyone has a role to play, so make sure respect that and participate in the ethos of working as a team - instead of potentially isolating yourself from your work mates. 

This means, for example, treating all co-workers as equal team players and setting your mind-set to that as being part of ‘one team’, instead of displaying what might be interpreted as a ‘toxic’ competitive streak. 

√ Are you respectful of others?


Being respectful to your teammates and senior colleagues is crucial if you hope to progress positively in your career. 

To make sure that you meet your employer’s expectations, use proper etiquette in the workplace and make sure that you always listen to your co-workers’ opinions fully; even if you don’t always agree with their views. It’s also vital to keep a cool head, especially if you find yourself under the pressure. Displaying this kind of behaviour can reassure and show your line manager that you have a work ethic strong enough to merit strong consideration for a future promotion to a higher level role.

√ Are you consistently at work - even when you may not ‘feel like it’?


Levels of sickness in the workplace naturally tend to peak during the cold, winter months. We all get ill with a cold or virus from time to time, after all. 

However, calling in sick fairly regularly doesn’t bode well; especially if the only reason for these emergency days off is for you to recuperate from a hangover or you just feel like having a ‘duvet day’. This red flag behaviour can ultimately indicate to your employer that you don’t care enough to turn up to your job on a regular basis, highlights that you may be a bit unreliable, and flies in the face of all that it means to have a strong work ethic.

Whilst there will always be cases of genuine (and provable) periods of sickness in some workers, there will always be others who dishonestly take a day or a period off citing sickness. Remember, employers know this all too well and are often quickly able to spot the difference between a genuine case of illness or incapacity and a non-genuine case. 

√ Are you continuously looking to grow and improve your skills?


Whether you’re working on completely different contracts over the years or working in the same line of work continuously, it can grind you down sometimes; you may even end up going through phases of feeling quite bored! 

So how do you keep yourself motivated? One of the biggest ways of keeping yourself interested in your work, but also demonstrating to your employer that you’re a valuable employee with a strong work ethic, is to keep proactive when it comes to your own professional development. 

If you are really dedicated to your career and focused on progressing further, why not try an online course or read an educational book in order to develop your skills and show your supervisor that you want to ‘grow’ professionally?

By displaying this kind of behaviour, you’re demonstrating a willingness to learn and adopt new skills that add value to your workplace as well as your own role. This is usually very well perceived and appreciated by an employer and increases the odds of receiving a promotion in the future. 

If you’re not satisfied with your current role, why not search a new one today? Here at Bucks & Berks Recruitment we offer a number of great roles within top local organisations that are looking for a top talent just like you! Get in touch with your local recruiter today or sign up for job alerts to be the first one to know about new, exciting opportunities! 




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