Work Ethic

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In 1904, Max Weber published his noteworthy book, Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus (The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism). He is credited with coining the phrase, Protestant work ethic. He traced the idea of a strong work ethic to the Reformation in general and to John Calvin in particular. Weber argued that Calvinism promoted strong work habits and condemned laziness. Excelling in the workplace was viewed as one way of glorifying God.

Today employers place great value on a strong work ethic. It is one of the qualities that most employers seek when hiring new employees. I have been asked about my work ethic in almost every job interview I’ve ever had. Prospective employers want to know if the candidate is willing to work hard.

What are the ingredients to a strong work ethic? Numerous studies have been conducted to discover the answer to this question. I would suggest there are a few essential building blocks to developing a strong work ethic.

         Responsibility – People who have a good work ethic are responsible people. They believe they are responsible for their own well-being. They do not believe it is someone else’s responsibility to meet their needs.

         Honesty – People with a strong work ethic are people of integrity. They are not seeking to deceive anyone. They can be trusted to do what is right.

         Team Players – People with a strong work ethic are committed to working with others. They recognize the limitations of being isolated from other in the workplace.

         Attentive to Quality – Folks with a strong work ethic place close attention to the quality of their work. They don’t accept shoddy work production from themselves.