Work is an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. Ethic is a set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming a specified group, field, or form of conduct. With that being said, work ethic is the principle that, hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of a reward. We also call work ethic by different terms, such as, effort, or dedication, or simply hard work. I outlined the six factors I look for in a person when helping them succeed based on their work ethic.

1. Integrity

This describes the person’s core values and beliefs. This one is the most important one to employers. If the person we are hiring is a person we cannot trust because of his lack of integrity, then, it is a loss to the company. Integrity means, being compliant to the company’s policies and rules. A person with the right integrity, will become the hardest worker in the whole company, because they will understand that the company they work for should be the priority. They will give it all they got because their integrity is there. They are makers, not takers.

2. Sense of Responsibility

The greatest quality someone can have, is the sense of responsibility. Knowing that you have someone you can trust to do the job you have assigned them to do and know that they will, to the best of their ability, accomplish such task as good as you wanted it to be, or even better, will guarantee growth for your company and will give you better results. Take care of what you’ve been assigned to. Be committed to that task, it is your responsibility after all. There is a difference between commitment and interest, when you are interested in doing something, you do it when it’s convenient, but when you are committed to something, you accept no excuses, just results.

3. Emphasis on Quality

Working in an industry that is known to be volume driven has showed me the two faces of the coin. Seeing many emphasize on the volume and driving their results based on who has the most, or does the most, instead of verifying their approvals and who gets the best quality, whether or not their results are accruing instead of affecting their company’s earnings. If your goal is to become the best person in your workspace, focus on the volume, there is nothing wrong with that, but also, do the best to prove what you are made of, and show that you care about quality. This one speaks to myself on a day-to-day basis, I was the one who used to care more about the volume, to be recognized nationally for holding records of volume, instead of emphasizing on how many of this numbers will translate to actual earnings. It was all deficit instead of profit.

4. Discipline

One of my main struggles as I was learning everything in this field, was to keep my commitment to what I was doing. Discipline is the hardest thing to do, but it also comes to show how hard of a worker you are. It takes the right mentality for someone to be disciplined to do whatever it takes. Being disciplined means being committed to finish your goals everyday, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the negatives you find, regardless of other’s opinions. Everyone wants success until they see what it takes to get it.

5. Sense of Teamwork

I will quote Michael Jordan on this: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”. It does not matter how skilled and knowledgeable you are, or how much you can do on your own, the only thing that will hinder you from growing in whatever field you work in, is your ability to become selfless. It shows how hard you can work, it shows your work ethic. The last quarter of 2016 taught me this the hard way, I thought that, since my last promotion, It was not important for me to work with any of my team members, that I should focus on myself, to get myself better, if I wanted to succeed, I should not work with anyone else. Well, let me tell you, that was the worst mistake I’ve ever made in business, this particular decision pushed me two months back in progression, it involved a 75% personnel loss and a 40% revenue loss. The moment we think that our skills can show our progression, is the moment we lose everything we aim for. Work as team to accomplish more.

6. Sharpness

Sharp is a word used in the United States to describe someone who’s extremely professional, eager, enthusiastic and passionate about doing something. This term also applies to someone who looks, talks and acts professional (referring to the term “sharp as a tack”). When it comes to sharpness as applied to work ethic, I mean, it does not matter how sharp you look or act, if you aren’t a hard worker, you are just a facade. I don’t believe in anyone’s level of sharpness until I see them in the field, working hard for what they strive to become. Until then, my opinion stands.

Go to your search engine and type “getting paid more and working less,” I guarantee you, you will find several pages that encourage people to work the bare minimum, and be okay with the outcome. We live in a society that will criticize us if we work hard by giving us titles of “workaholics” or “work addicts.” Where if we work hard and longer hours it is a disgrace and we should not be doing that. I still remember the comments coming from my family, wondering why I choose to work long hours, everyday. My answer was simple, I would much rather work all day everyday for the next five years and then get whatever I want, whenever I want, then become a slave of a set schedule with a set salary, with a set growth.

There is nothing more addictive and dangerous than the dependency to a set salary for life.