How can we teach work ethic?

Posted: April 24, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

work-ethic-muppetsFasten your seat belts, it’s gonna get a little ranty in here.

I admit it, there are days I feel like one of the grumpy old muppets in the balcony on the Muppet Show (not sure if I’m most like Statler or Waldorf) spewing “I remember when..” and “when i was just starting out…“, but dammit, sometimes these days I’m sickened by sense of entitlement that the current generation has.

This  “I want everything but don’t ask me to work hard for it”  mentality is rampant with a large percentage of the people getting out of school and entering the workforce, but sadly the generation right before them isn’t much better.  Seems to be “Pay me the money and I’ll work harder, …maybe”  rather than proving yourself, doing your job and getting rewarded for it by raises and promotions.

I blame parents for part of it.  A big part of it.  Many are making it too easy on their kids.  Used to be you wanted something, you got a job, worked your ass off until you could afford it, grumbling at times to yourself, but in the end did the work necessary to earn your money.  Whether it was delivering newspapers, working in a fast food place, washing dishes in a restaurant till the wee hours of the morning, or detasseling corn, you worked and everyone your age that you knew did it too.  Times were different, sure, but parents back then did something right, they instilled into us a work ethic that seems to be lost nowadays.

The government hasn’t helped.  Imposing regulations that prevent kids under the age of 15 from working in certain types of jobs.  And many restaurant and retail chains have their own rules stating they will not hire anyone under the age of 16, thereby just compounding the problem.   So now instead of getting them used to working, we get them accustomed to being lazy and then expect that to change on its own later in life?  Yeah, cuz that is how things work.

I’m not saying that ALL of the latest generation is that way, just a large part of the workforce comes to work to do the bare minimum they can, rather than doing everything they can.  I see it daily, even in my own office.  Even in today’s economy, where people should be happy to have a job with unemployment so high, there are many who just aren’t willing to put forth the effort to get ahead.  What ever happened to the sense of satisfaction of doing a job well?  Being able to point at a thing and say “I did that, and did it well“?

I’m not sure if we can fix the people already in the workforce.  Maybe getting fired a few times will smarten them up, hard to say.  But one thing we can do is work on the next generation.  Don’t be afraid to make your kids actually do some work, even if it’s just something simple around the house.  Yes sometimes it takes them twice as long as it should, but you are instilling a work ethic here, it takes time.  Hopefully we can break this trend of laziness and “that’s not part of my job” attitude in the next generation or workers.  Otherwise, get used to the idea of looking after your kids since they are never gonna move out of your basement.



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