First my caveat: I may have a more literal or narrow idea of "work ethic" than others, because some of what I'm reading on these posts to me isn't about work ethic, but general character. So that said, I couldn't disagree more that a work ethic isn't taught, but learned through life experiences. I think it's a LOT harder to try to work it out later than to be raised with it. My parents were both kids of the Depression and I got very direct words (as well as examples) on work ethic well before I got my first regular job at 15. Things like, oh, say, showing up - no kidding, a lot of people believe that's optional. Or the fact that your employer has purchased your time and energy and attention. It meant not talking back to your supervisor just because you think you're smarter. It meant not swiping notepads and pens for home use, and not calling in sick unless you're sick. It meant knowing that sometimes you have to just suck it up and do what's asked of you.
Originally Posted by BeachBum
I know that when I first started getting freshly minted college graduates hired to work under me, I found a lot of that seemed startling to them. In large part, I felt they'd simply been raised with such a profound sense of entitlement and self adoration, they simply didn't understand how the workplace operates, and how to be a good employee and take the opportunity to learn there.
But again, all that's based on how I think of the expression "work ethic".
Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt