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A good work ethic

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Avatar for zolabundance2
Written by   123
2 months ago
Topics: Life, Real Life

Never say that's not my job.

That was a post in Facebook that gave me pause. I thought of the days when I worked within an organization and if there was ever a time I was guilty of that.

I can't really think of an instance where I specifically refused to help out when I can just because it was not my job. (But I will pass up helping when the task is highly specialized and requires experience or training rather than botch it.)

The rest of the post by Wes Prichard read that saying "it is not my job" smacks of arrogance and laziness. An exemplary worker does not confine themselves just to their duties.

When workers lend a hand, whether to get a task done on time, or help someone find a solution to a problem, it adds value to any organization.

It does not have to be your responsibility to assist a co-worker when necessary, it just is a good work ethic to practice.

And most importantly, helping out should be done even when no one (read: superiors) is looking.

Early training

My early work training was with a lady who wore many hats. This meant she had so many things going on at the same time. And as her assistant, I was exposed to everything she dipped her hands in. (Check out a previous article about my early work experience: On the job training)

What she taught me (without actually teaching me) was to be familiar with every step of whatever was being done to produce or create something. Since she was both involved in the creative and technical aspects, my boss knew a lot of things - from the most menial of jobs to the most complex.

And by observing her work ethics, I picked up on a lot of them, including knowing how to do every step within a certain process. And because I saw what is being done, it was so easy for me to jump in and help out when necessary.

Learn more, do more

The training ingrained in me the curiosity to learn about steps taken to complete any work done in my succeeding jobs. It was not necessarily to take on the responsibility, but to be able to assist when there is a need to speed up things or to catch up with deadlines.

This became invaluable when I was later appointed to supervise groups of people assigned various tasks. In educating myself about how things are done, and actually doing them, I became confident asking staff to take on tasks because as much as possible I never ask them to do anything that I couldn't do myself (except very technical stuff).

I know there have been underlings who have felt embarrassed when they see me helping out with what is supposedly their responsibility but I always brush them off. When it's our organization on the line, the more hands on deck, the faster we can deliver results.

Beyond office hours

Most of the jobs I held in the past did not operate on regular work hours. So, I was used to rendering work or service beyond usual office hours, and even working overtime when necessary.

In Congress, during budget hearings, we could be working until nine o'clock or even up to midnight. In the newspaper, there may be instances when a story is updated past seven o'clock.

I remember learning to lay out newspaper pages just watching the chief artist and having to take over the task during one stormy day and only a few people came in to work at that time.

I had little choice because no one else had been trained for the job yet. In hanging around the artist's work area, I picked up on how he did things and when it was time for me to do it myself, I fumbled a bit but still managed to get it done.

So, the attitude of not doing something that isn't my responsibility isn't in my vocabulary. I help when needed, and no questions asked because it is our company on the line.

It's not aspiring to be a know-it-all, but wouldn't it be an advantage to know as much as possible how things are done or created in whatever industry you're in? After all, we must never stop learning to grow as individuals.

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Written by   123
2 months ago
Topics: Life, Real Life
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Comments

The more hands on the deck, the faster we can deliver results.

That is absolutely true. Being in the food service industry, I always help with the operations to the point that a guest told me that me being a supervisor was only a status quo because I was still helping with the operations. Being a supervisor does not mean that I would not help with the operations. For me it is better to work in a company that has team work.

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2 months ago

Being in a position of power or authority doesn't mean being exempted from helping move things along when warranted. If the entire team is on the same page, the better the outcome of the task. Good for you for setting an example to your staff.

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2 months ago

You are blessed with an awesome boss! I am trying to think what I got from my other bosses.. haha..

"That's not my job" was never also in my vocabulary. I am still checking though if i may have said it in different way. I normally always politely tell them I know of someone who can give them better understanding of the matter.

Working with other people I've realized that helping out and accommodating inquiries can help build morale and working relationships. It makes every day working less tense and heavy. Working on a project composing two teams with my team dependent on the other, prompted me to learn their ways so I will not have to be fully dependent on them should they go shorthanded. Their not being selfish in accommodating my queries, though it is not their job to share their knowledge to me because I belong to another team, helped a lot during the crunch time.

$ 0.01
2 months ago

There will be instances when we don't necessarily like people we work with, for a variety or reasons, but it still pays to work well together because we all need a mindset that we need to cooperate to get the job done. Hopefully, learning what other people in the team does is not encroaching on their duties but rather because you want to be able to help out should that time come.

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2 months ago

it's a good thing though that the folks on the other team are people I get along with. I only do what they taught me if they tell me they need extra hand there :D

$ 0.01
2 months ago

Ahhhh, that's like an unspoken rule. If they need help. It is hard to just insinuate yourself. You can always ask (Can I help out?) if you feel they won't...

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2 months ago

Yehey! Young people would need role models because common sense is not as common as it seems. Myself not excluded in those who needed to be trained to be more sensible when it came to team building.

I liked your story on the job training. I envy that time you went for your own ojt.

$ 0.01
2 months ago

Ha! Love it that you know common sense isn't that common, which is really very frustrating and sad. We could do so much more right with it.

Thanks for checking out the OJT article. It was a real eye opener in terms of the "real world".

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2 months ago

If it won't affect any of your task and if you are free. Then I think, helping a bit will cause no harm. Always remember the importance of work ethic.

$ 0.01
2 months ago

Of course, your assignments first before taking on another task, especially if you just intend to help and it's not required of you. Besides, it's showing others they can count on you, and they may return the favor, in case it's necessary.

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2 months ago

Definitely. If we think we can handle it and we are free at the same time, then doing the job which is supposed to be not our job won't hurt. Just a small act of kindness

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2 months ago

Yep... That is also one of my learnings when i was working in a corporate world. Never say it was not my job and never to answer i don't know and always i'll check it first or I'll double check but never ever answer with with i don't know.

$ 0.01
2 months ago

Yes! I don't know gives off the impression you don't care to know, while saying Let me find out and get back to you demonstrates you care for your workplace. Appreciate your support, as always!

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2 months ago

Practicing work ethics. That is how you grow in the field you are working. Not necessary that you are the most good at it, but how you love what you are doing will make you great.

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2 months ago

Being good at your job is one thing... being a team player and lending a hand is an entirely different thing that is most welcome in the workplace. Thanks for dropping by and the upvote!

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2 months ago

You are welcome, Zola.

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2 months ago

Work ethics are important, be punctual, do your job with a smile☺

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2 months ago

True! Punctuality is a must, and being pleasant at work is a plus.

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2 months ago