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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.

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Photo by Sawyer Grow

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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.

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