Is Your Work Ethic the Best It Can Be?

How high on your personal priority list is this job?

How high on your personal priority list is this job?

So you’re wondering why it seems every time there’s a promotion in your grasp, you’re overlooked and it’s given to someone else. You’ve put in a lot of time with the company and you know you’re ready but you seem to be the only one who thinks so.

In the past I’ve given you some tips on how to put your best foot forward in the office, keeping things positive and making yourself more visible. But those aren’t the only ingredients to continued work success. One of the most basic things you need is a solid day-to-day performance, the willingness to buckle down and get the job done. You need a great work ethic.

You’re probably thinking that’s no problem because you’ve always prided yourself on a great work ethic. But consider that over time, you’ve loosened up. There are several reasons your work ethic could have taken a hit over the years or more recent months, and being overlooked for a promotion could be one of those reasons. Getting too comfortable at work could be another one.

No matter the reason, it’s an easy thing to fix because you’re 100% in control. Find out if you have a great work ethic; next time you’re at your desk in the middle of a work day, ask yourself if you display these characteristics:

Willingness to learn – Sure you may be experienced, but that doesn’t mean you know it all. If you act like you do, this doesn’t bode well for your work ethic. Continue to grow, always learn new things and be open to what others have to share.

Commitment – How high on your personal priority list is this job? If it’s not high, you’re not committed. That may be alright but understand that others do notice. If you’re not willing to stay a little longer to get the job done but someone else is, who do you think is more likely to get the promotion?

Dependability – If you start something, are you there to finish it? If someone needs your help on a project do you show up or make excuses? Do you get to work late? Do you call out often? If you’re not someone people can trust, your bosses may not be eager to give you that promotion.

Honesty – If you have a reputation around the office as being dishonest about anything from small work gossip to important work matters, you might want to address it.

Ownership – So you missed a deadline or made a mistake on a task. Have you owned up to it and worked to fix it? Or have you denied it was your fault? Finding others to blame instead of taking responsibility for your own contributions may be what’s holding you back.

If you’re looking to advance at work or even just make a good impression, your work ethic is a crucial element. Don’t let frustrations at work make you stop working as effectively. If you really feel you deserve to move to the next level, you have to continue to prove it.


Do you need help increasing job visibility or improving your relationship with your boss? My executive coaching services can help you hone your communication skills and clearly define your goals and objectives.

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