Here you are with a shiny new degree, one you worked hard to earn. You put in the late nights and missed a few parties. You probably also paid a pretty penny so that you could join the workforce with a pep in your step. But now it’s time to work amongst others who have experience in their field (and who sometimes have a degree over their desk as well). You’re hit with the reality that a degree is only part of the process.
For most of the workforce, success is an ongoing commitment. A sense of entitlement is the result of believing success the world owes you for achieving a personal goal. I’m here to tell you that we’re proud of you, but your work is not finished.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Knowing Is Not Enough
Knowledge is power, and with great power comes great responsibility. Spiderman knew that and he was a high school student (bitten by a radioactive spider, but hey …) So it’s high time we learn this truth as well. Knowledge is half the battle, applying it is the other part. It does a company no good to employ your knowledge. They are employing the application of your knowledge – your work.
To be of real value to a company you need to recognize the ways in which you can use what you know to help the company. The beauty of this relationship is that you’re also helping yourself. As the company succeeds, you also benefit.
Willing Is Not Enough
One of the issues that many new college graduates have that hinders their work ethic is a feeling that they’re undervalued (read: underpaid) for their expertise. In fact, Jim Norman reports that some fifty percent of people think they’re underpaid, even when satisfied with their job.
We’ve all heard the saying, “that’s above my paygrade” as justification for not doing some part of a job. The major flaw here? That attitude demonstrates that you deserve only the dollar amount you currently receive. You have to be willing to put in the effort before the reward.
If this effort doesn’t pay off, then a discussion with leadership is in order. However, if you haven’t seriously put in the work for the pay (or job) you want, then you have yet to earn it.
A Word to Employers
If you keep finding that your staff is continually underperforming, then it might be time to evaluate the company culture and pay scale. But if everything is lining up except a new employee who looked great on paper, the problem is very likely their work ethic.
It’s not all bad news however, there are some simple ways people can increase their work ethic to help promote themselves at work and in life. A little open communication — with a positive work culture — can go a long way in helping new employees realize the importance of work ethic for success.