Today I’m sharing 5 Tips to help you develop and maintain a solid business work ethic. These are my personal tips that I have experienced, tried and tested over the last 13 years and they’ve never steered me wrong.
Although my experience has mainly been operating in various positions in corporate America and as a small business owner, these tips can apply to just about any position or venture. Maintaining a solid worth ethic makes you marketable and maintains your value to your peers and potential business partners.
It shows that you care about your work, your reputation and that you value the time of those you either work for or work with. If you are planning on becoming self-employed in the future, these are also excellent tips to start incorporating into your current situation or daily routine so you can be prepared for the tough road ahead.
Business is Business and it must always be treated that way.
5 Ways To Build A Stellar Work Ethic
#1 If you make a promise, KEEP IT. Your word is as equally important as your work. It doesn’t matter how many degrees you may have or what your title says on your office door. If you become known as a promise breaker, you lose trust with those most important to your continued success. Say what you mean and mean what you say. You are only as good as your word. Don’t make promises or commitments, no matter how small, that you know you can’t or may struggle with keeping.
#2 If you choose to volunteer to do something, work as if you’re getting paid top dollar to do it. Don’t do a job half-asses because you’re not receiving a paycheck. If you agreed to complete a task or finish a project, then do it well. You never know who may be watching or taking note of your commitment and worth ethic. Why risk your good name & reputation? Otherwise, if you know that money will be an issue in relation to your performance, then just don’t volunteer. It’s that simple.
#3 It’s okay to say no, or to concede that you don’t know how to do something. “I don’t know” isn’t always a bad phrase in the business world. It is much more respectable and responsible to be honest about your abilities, than to lie about them and try to compensate for your lack by using the “cliff note” approach, on someone else’s dime or time. You’re either going to fail horribly or get lucky. To me, 50/50 isn’t really good odds when you consider what’s on the line. Why take the risk of losing future business or your job/reputation at all?
#4 Be on time or early for deadlines. Like I stated earlier, don’t commit if you know you can’t make it. Timeliness is always important and having a respect for other people’s time also gives the impression that you care. When a client sees that you care about them or the project/job, they will care more about you by requesting future services from you or referring and recommending you to others.
#5 Watch how you talk to people. Use the golden rule. Be professional in your manner of speaking. It’s okay to be assertive and expressive when speaking about your expertise. Just remember how you may sound on the receiving end. Arrogance and ignorance are both equally bad on both ends of the spectrum. Don’t be a know it all. You will alienate people with your big-headed tendencies. There is always a right and wrong way to get your point across without sounding like a jerk. We’ve all heard the phrase “ignorance is bliss”, but in the professional world, it’s not. If you aren’t truly knowledgeable about something, don’t try speaking on the subject as if you are. It is always easy to spot the person that knows very little and is faking it. If you are ignorant about a particular subject in relation to your business, job, project or career path, then become knowledgeable. Study the industry jargon and definitions or take a course on that particular subject so you can offer something valuable to the conversation. This falls in line with #3, if you don’t something simply say “I don’t know, but I will find out” or something to that effect. It takes the spot light off your lack and focuses on your diligence.