Have You Ever Considered What Factors Contribute to Your Work Ethic?

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I was recently challenged to consider what factors contributed to my work ethic.

I believe the development of my personal work ethic has been influenced by four main factors: upbringing, age, religion, and citizenship.

I’d say the largest impact is from my . I was raised by parents who immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in the 60s. My father worked fulltime in Quality Assurance at General Electric from the time he arrived in Ontario until he retired.

I can recall him missing only one day of work due to illness. He believed he owed it to his employer to give his best every day.

My mother stayed home to raise four children, however, when I was in grade school she took on a job as a Red Cross Worker — similar to today’s Personal Support Worker. Later, when I was a teenager she owned and operated a restaurant. She worked 60+ hour weeks to make it a success.

Both my parents believed that hard work was the secret to success and financial security. They encouraged me and my brothers to give our best and to value work.

Another factor that contributed to my work ethic was the .

By definition, I am a Generation X (born between 1965–1981) who takes an independent, resourceful and adaptable approach to work. I held a job since I was a child — starting with a paper route, then working as a waitress at Tim Hortons, working in a grocery store bakery throughout high school, and holding many jobs throughout my years of university.

I’ve been resourceful in the types of jobs I’ve taken and have embraced change in the workplace, especially as I graduated into a recession and had to work for temporary agencies.

A third factor that contributed to my work ethic was my .

I was born and raised Catholic and although the Protestant work ethic believes that hard work, diligence, thrift, and busyness are desirable, I believe that I learned these same traits in Separate School and in church.

I was taught to have a positive attitude towards work and see it as virtuous. Later in life, I learned that I should regard work as an act of worship and service to God. I learned that I should do everything with an attitude of honouring God through my actions.

The last factor that I believe contributed to my personal work ethic is my .

Although my parents are Dutch, I was born in Canada and I am Canadian. As a Canadian, I value hard work and am considerate and polite at work. I will work longer hours when required but believe in maintaining a healthy work/life balance. I believe in punctuality and respecting other people’s time.

My approach to work has been influenced by many factors: upbringing, age, religion, and citizenship. These factors have contributed to my personal work ethic and shaped who I am today.

A favourite quote that highlights my approach to work is taken from the Bible, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” Colossians 3:23.

This quote reminds me that even if my job becomes tedious or boring I am to thank God for it and continue to work hard and keep a positive attitude.

What factors have contributed to your work ethic?

Collier, E. (n.d.). Workplace Warfare: Baby Boomers, Gen X And Gen Y. Retrieved March 8, 2018, from https://www.careerfaqs.com.au/news/news-and-views/workplace-warfare-baby-boomers-gen-x-and-gen-y

Dutch Work Ethics. (2017, July 04). Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://www.togetherabroad.nl/blogs/3/kxhkcr-dutch-work-ethics-

Luzer, D. (2013, September 04). Study: The Protestant Work Ethic Is Real. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from https://psmag.com/economics/protestant-worth-ethic-real-65544

Sexty, R. W. (2017). Canadian Business and Society. In R. W. Sexty, Canadian Business and Society (p. 31). McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited.

The Art of Getting it Right — Workplace Ethics in Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2018, from http://www.cnmag.ca/the-art-of-getting-it-right-workplace-ethics-in-canada/

The Catholic work ethic. (2017, March 09). Retrieved March 20, 2018, from http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/issues/march-3rd-2017/the-catholic-work-ethic/

(First featured on Medium platform August 8, 2020)

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