Spoiler: A fresh perspective may open more doors than you expect!

The right attitude when it comes to work can get you far. If you've got your sights set on a successful career, it all starts with you and, crucially, how you choose to approach work. So, do you have the right work ethics to make it? Do you hold the strong principles and values that you need to reach your full potential? If you're already be scratching your head and wondering whether you possess these skills, you've come to the right place. 

Learning what constitutes strong work ethics is the first step in the process. That way, you can build on what you already have in place. In the following guide, we'll be looking at what these are, how you can develop them for yourself, and why it matters for your career. 

What are work ethics, anyway?

Before we look at some work ethics examples, let's talk about what it means to have a strong work ethic. Put simply, this is all about the attitude that you take towards your career and the everyday tasks that you complete. Having the “right” approach when you're at work means that it's easy to get the job done and satisfy the demands of the role.

When you have a strong work ethic, it will reverberate through every part of your job. Your core morals and values will guide you as you move through your career. For example, you will know how to set proper values in the workplace, be motivated to reach targets, and work well with your team. All of the above makes excelling professionally straightforward. 

Why do you need a strong work ethic?

If you're looking to get ahead in the working world, having a strong work ethic is the answer. In recent years, this has become more important to British workers. Recent research found that almost two-thirds of employees will quit if a company doesn't share their values. On the other hand, employers are continually looking for new staff members who can seamlessly fit into their company culture. It's a two-way street.  

The competition is fierce, so you need to show that you have what it takes to exceed employers' expectations. When you adopt a strong work ethic, you show your manager that you're serious about the role at hand. It means consistently showing up and giving the job everything that you have. If you do all of the above, when promotions and exciting new opportunities come along, you'll be the first name on your manager's lips. 

Core work ethics examples 

Now that you know what work ethics are and why they matter, let's take a look at some key examples. If you can pinpoint the traits that make someone professional, you can see where you fall here. With that in mind, check out the work ethics examples below: 


Are you motivated to get the job done? Have you taken the time to figure out what it is that drives you? The truth is that we all get bogged down in the humdrum realities of work at times. Slumps come and go. However, it's about how you manage that and whether you allow it to impact your work overall. If you know yourself well enough to do that, it's a huge bonus.

Often enough, your motivation level will come down to how engaged you are with your job. According to the Good Work Index, only around two-thirds of workers are currently satisfied with their jobs. In the simplest of terms, should you find your position unfulfilling, you may struggle to have the level of motivation you need to have a strong work ethic. 


When an employer hires you to do a job, they trust that you will deliver time and time again. Are you up for this challenge? While there are plenty of factors that can get in the way here - such as sickness and burnout - you should generally be a reliable worker. If you show a pattern of failing to meet deadlines, you'll get a poor reputation at work. 

Of course, there are plenty of ways that you can combat this problem. For example, if you recognise that you're regularly failing to meet deadlines, you may need to adopt a new approach. You could look at using some workflow management tools or change the way you schedule your workload. Making these changes could be the start of a new chapter.


We all mess up from time to time. You might try to be the perfect employee… but you're only human. So, answer the following question: when you drop the ball, for whatever reason, do you own up to it and take accountability? People who have strong work ethics know the value of holding their hands up and saying that they've made a mistake. 

The truth of the matter is that taking accountability can be extremely hard. You might have got into the habit of making excuses for your errors. Nobody likes to end up with egg on their face, after all. However, taking ownership of your failures is one of the best ways to overcome and learn from them. It's only when you learn to do that that you can truly grow. 


Are you a real team player? You may have been asked this question when you interviewed for the job. However, few of us consider how well we're collaborating with others on a daily basis. Despite this fact, how well you work with others could have an impact on your entire career. If you're lacking in this area, you might want to take the time to shape up. 

Becoming an excellent collaborator means communicating well, understanding the team's goals, and working towards the greater good. If you can confidently say that you do all of that, ten points to you! Working as part of a team means that you're not only out for personal gain - you have the interests of the entire company in mind when you work. 

How to develop strong work ethics 

Are you falling short or ticking all of the boxes? Chances are, you already have some decent work ethics. However, we could all do with sharpening our toolboxes from time to time. If you're looking for ways to hone this skill set, look no further. Here's what to do: 

Observe how your managers act 

Your managers didn't get given their positions on a silver plate. These professionals worked hard to get where they are - and perhaps you can do the same. If you want to have strong work ethics, take note of the people who have been there and done it. Look at the ways in which your managers behave in the workplace and try to emulate that. When you show that you're responsible and reliable, the people around you will start to notice.

Figure out what drives you professionally 

Where do you see yourself in five years? While this question may be a cliche, it's worth taking a moment to think about the answer. Understanding where you see your career going can help you to get your work ethics on track. If you don't have a long-term goal, you may find that you struggle to motivate yourself. Take the time to sit down and write a list of the things that you hope to achieve in the coming years.

Look into workflow management strategies 

One of the things that holds many of us back is not knowing how to manage our workload. You might have the best intentions in the world. However, if you find it hard to keep up with the flow of your work, you need to take action sooner rather than later. Should you believe that your load is at an unmanageable level, it may be worth speaking to your manager. You could also look at adopting some scheduling tactics to help you stay on track. As we've already mentioned, there are online tools and apps that can help you with this.

The takeaway 

Developing strong work ethics is the core to your professional growth. No matter where you're starting from, there are ways that you can become more professional. That may mean improving your teamwork skills or becoming more responsible for your workload. Whatever you decide to do, there's a lot to be said for continually improving your skills. 

Once you have a strong work ethic, you can take the professional world by storm. Want to give yourself a competitive edge? Get a free CV review from an expert. Upgrading your CV could help you to land more interviews and get hired faster than ever. 

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