When you’re a kid, you might get some money from gifts or a regular allowance. This cash is important for learning how to save and make smart buys. Eventually, though, the things you need or want probably will cost more than the amount of money you’re given. When this happens, your parents likely will encourage you to earn more money through extra chores around the house, or by getting a simple job like mowing lawns. As you complete these tasks, a good work ethic becomes a very big deal.
Any time you work for someone, even if your “boss” is mom or dad, they expect you to do the job to the best of your ability. They also expect you to follow their directions well, not only so you stay safe, but so everything is finished quickly without waste or damage. A good work ethic means that you meet both these expectations. Just as importantly, it means that you’re willing to work as hard or as much as you need to in order to keep promises or meet your own needs. In other words, you aren’t lazy, and people can trust you to do what you say you’re going to do.
Why Is Work Ethic So Important for You as a Kid?
In most areas, laws are in place that keep kids from working the same number of hours as adults, taking specific shifts or accepting certain types of jobs. These rules are in place to make sure that employers don’t mistreat you. They also keep you out of potentially unsafe work environments and make sure you have time for school. These are all good goals, but the guidelines mean that you’re much more limited in your work choices than an adult is, especially since you might not have your driver’s license yet and might need to work around others’ schedules. You want to be a good worker for your boss under these circumstances because you have less of a guarantee you can find more work if you lose your job.
Work ethic also matters for you as a kid because it is so closely connected to your schooling and future career. If you want to participate in selective, advanced programs, or if you have your eye on college, good grades typically aren’t enough to get you accepted anymore. Admissions boards take your success at a job as proof that you’re likely to follow through and complete the activity or degree you sign up for, and that you’ll appreciate the opportunities you’re given. In the same way, group instructors, professors, mentors and other leaders you might have also tend to look at your work ethic when deciding to award you scholarships, positions on student or other committees or internships. This trend continues after you graduate, with most employers wanting to see how you went above and beyond as you earned your degree. Once hired, you likely won’t get promotions, pay raises and other perks unless you give your job top effort.
Work Ethic Doesn’t Get Rid of Fun!
Having a good work ethic doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. In fact, taking some time for fun is even more important when you approach a job seriously. Taking breaks lets your mind and body refuel, letting you come back to your tasks more focused and energized. As a result, you usually can do even more and complete what you’re doing with even higher quality! Thus, it’s important for you to take some time for things you enjoy even as you push yourself for your boss. Later on, when you’re an adult and your job demands are even bigger with more stress, having this balance of fun and responsibility will do wonders for keeping you happy.
Work ethic may sound like something only adults should worry about, but it matters for kids, too. The more responsible you are and the harder you work for a boss when you’re young, the easier it probably will be for you to keep your job, do well in school and, ultimately, succeed in the career of your choice. Balance a good work ethic with some fun and you’ll be in great shape to enjoy a happy, financially stable life!