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A Professional Work Ethic?

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is something that I think is missing in workers these days—a sense of professionalism that used to keep the work flowing no matter what. I remember hearing once that the mark of a true team player is ‘when you hate someone on your team, and no one knows it.’

I have encountered two instances this past week alone that support my thought. A leader of a local job club somehow got offended by something I said, although I am not sure what. I wish I knew so I could make amends, but when feelings are hurt, I believe communication is one of the first things to suffer. As a result, when I had information to give at one of the job club sessions, I was met with hostility and backbiting comments.

The other incident occurred almost a full year ago, but I only learned of it today. In another job club, I had asked an independent consultant to be a guest speaker. She was met with an angry jobseeker that had some questions that turned the conversation into difficult waters. With the passage of time I had forgotten what was said, but the experience left a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t think much of it until planning a resource fair for mature jobseekers today. I sent out a series of emails asking local connections if they wanted to be involved. Her response was scathing, ending with, “You need to understand there’s a consequence to inaction in those kinds of situations. I’m not working with you because I’m not willing to endure that kind of thing again.”

I always ask myself what is more important in these situations: my own pride or the work I’m doing for the jobseeker? Those are the people who ultimately pay the consequence.

At the end of the day, I look back on what I hope is a job well done. I like the quote by Margaret Thatcher: “Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.” I look back at my extremely busy days and hope I got everything done. I don’t look back and smolder over perceived wrongs. It only gets in the way of tomorrow’s work.


About kimberlyjmyers

I am a workforce development professional in Washington State. I have ten years experience working with dislocated workers, vocationally impaired, and people with disabilities on many levels and backgrounds from offenders to non-English speaking refugees from around the world. The One thing the clients I have worked with all had in common: there was some barrier to employment, and I work diligently every day to identify, address and remove those barriers.


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September 2012
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Satisfied… Or Not?

85% of employers say their employees are proud to work for their company. Only 71% of workers agree.

(SOURCE: Randstad Engagement Study)

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