Work Ethic: What Exactly Does this Mean?

Hard work is not always fun or convenient. It takes dedication and inner motivation to achieve goals. However, in the end it is well worth it.


Photo by Sawyer Grow


Work ethic is a part of my identity.

“Make sure things are spick and span,” my dad would say to my siblings and I growing up.

To us, this meant making sure that whatever task we were completing, we did it with the utmost detail and thoroughness.

As a kid my parents expected chores to be done around the house. The concept of receiving an allowance or exchange of money for doing our part around the house was foreign to me.

While most of my friends earned an allowance, I understood that under my parents’ roof it was not viewed as an extra effort to pitch in. It was expected.

In high school this same work ethic and attention to detail played out in my athletic ventures. Seeing myself rise above my teammates and opposition simply due to the fact that I worked harder and longer to prepare for competition, this gave me a sense of supreme confidence.

Work ethic became my “thing.”

Using my drive and desire to work for what I wanted, I got a job at Noodles and Company when I was 16 years old.

I did not particularly enjoy this job but knowing I was earning my own money fueled me to endure the long hours of hard work in the kitchen preparing and serving food.

This job got me my first car. For the rest of my life, I can remember the feeling of buying my own car. It did not matter that there were stains on the cloth seats, or that there were already 100,000 miles on the vehicle.

It was mine because I worked for it.

Work ethic is not something one can learn or purchase. Work ethic is obtained through practice and experience.

I have had over 10 different jobs in my life varying from nannying, food service, office work, outdoor maintenance, marketing and sports instructing. In each job, no matter how “low class” or mundane, I have learned valuable lessons.

I know the value of a dollar.

This understanding gives me more respect for my upbringing while continually building up my self-confidence because I see myself committing to hard work each day.

As a full-time student, and full-time worker, I am happy, more productive and genuinely more well-rounded as a person.

Job titles or tasks do not mean anything, it is the value and character built through these experiences that helps to shape people.

Without working unglamorous or boring jobs I don’t think I would be able to respect other people as much as I do today.

By working alongside a fast food worker or a line cook I am able to see that each person’s job plays an important role in the world, no matter how small.

Hard work builds understanding and equality among all people.

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Spencer Randolph

Spencer Randolph

Spencer Randolph is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline, majoring in communications. She is a member of the women’s basketball family, a server at Red Robin in Des Peres, and a part-time nanny. She looks forward to putting her communication career to work and eventually owning her own business.


About MBU Timeline


Here are some interesting facts about MBU Timeline, the student newsmagazine of Missouri Baptist University, in St. Louis:
*Our mission statement is: MBU Timeline is the student news network of Missouri Baptist University, a private Christian university that embraces the essential core value of “social change through service and leadership.”
*The Bible verse that drives our mission is 2 Timothy 2:15 (Worldwide English Version): “Tell the true message in the right way.”
*The WordPress website has been up since late-fall 2013. We average about 3,000 sessions and about 5,000 pageviews per month.
*Our stories and galleries get as few as 40 or 50 hits, or as many as 8,000 hits.
*We have readers in every state and more than 90 countries around the world. We have several readers in South America, the United Kingdom, India and Australia.
*Most of our readers are in Missouri, followed by Illinois, California and Texas.
*We do not accept advertising as we are a not-for-profit online newsmagazine.
*We welcome contributors from all walks of MBU life, regardless of your major. Reach out to us on Twitter at: @mbutimeline.