There is a difference between work ethic and work morals. Work ethic is the principle that if you work hard, you will be rewarded. A work ethic simply means that you are good at what you do. You keep the company moving upwards and forwards. And yet, the idea of a work ethic does not include instruction on the way you choose to complete your work; merely that you get it done.
Many people believe that every decision has a black or white, a right or wrong, answer. Still others believe that there will always be “shades of grey” as it were, meaning that there are multiple answers of varying degrees of right or wrong. But I believe that there is a third dimension that we are forgetting.
Decisions are rarely made inside a vacuum. Often a group of two or three people make a decision, then that decision is passed along to others to execute. Although the decision itself may have been clear, how this decision is ultimately executed is up to the individuals who are appointed with the task. And the execution may be smeared with levels of grey.
With every choice that we have there is a spectrum of black to white, shades of right and wrong. But here’s the thing about those shades of grey—even within two shades there is a darker and a lighter. While you may be faced with a carrying out a project at work that you personally may not agree with—remember that you do have a choice about how you choose to carry out your work. You have a choice on how you choose to treat the people around you, the clients in front of you, and those who will follow in your footsteps.
I have been taught to have a good work ethic. And as a result, I am very good at my job. And yet, there is something more, something about the way that you choose to interact with the people around you, the way that you choose to start and end your days, and the way that you choose to complete your work. It’s not about just getting it done, it’s about getting it done with grace and dignity.
How would it be if everyone adopted good work morals, in the way that we adopt a good work ethic?
Yes. It is true. I am young. Many of you will say that I have on rose-colored glasses and choose to see the world as optimistic, and thus you discount my words. You will push them aside claiming ignorance and youth. To you I say this: I have lived. I have worked. I have experienced death. I have experienced hardships that no one should face. And yet I am still optimistic.
Optimism, I hope, will never become a weakness. And youth, provides me only with the opportunity of change. Daily I will choose to work with grace and dignity. Will you do the same?