Developing Desirable Work Ethics: The Reality of Working in The Real World by Fern Weis

Even your dream job will sometimes be boring.

Every kid has had the ‘school is boring’ days. Did you do the boring assignments, or ignore them?  Of course you did them, because it’s all part of learning and preparing for what adults call ‘the real world’.  Out here in the real world, even the most exciting job requires mundane and sometimes mind-numbing tasks.

It’s important to know this before going out on your first full-time job.  (Be sure to read until the end where I share my frustrations at a previous job as a recruiter.)

Every student has said, “This is boring”, but wait until you show up for work. It’s not all creativity, fun and games. If I had a nickel for every student who asked me to make activities ‘fun’, I’d be rolling in nickels.  Do you have the expectation that all your activities will be challenging (in the most enjoyable of ways) and fulfilling?  How do you go out into the work force, prepared for all aspects of the job?  It’s inevitable that there will be boredom on the job and in life.

You’ve probably been hearing the message that you should follow your bliss and find your passion. Of course you should strive for fulfilling work, but finding it is not realistic right out of the gate.  And many employers are shaking their heads, wishing for more applicants who recognize this and are prepared to work hard and contribute to their business. They see many candidates with a poor work ethic, who can’t or won’t plow through the less-than-exciting tasks that are a necessary part of work and life. Employers are tired of new hires who are bright, but wash out quickly.  They are losing time, money and productivity with employees who decide after weeks or even days that they don’t like the job, stop showing up for work, and sometimes don’t give notice.

If you have a productive, can-do attitude, employers are looking for you! They begin now, at home. Chores and other responsibilities may not be fun, but if you master this now, you’ll be in demand later on.

Types of Productive Attitudes

  1. I am part of a family and we all contribute, whether we like the task or not.
  2. I can do this.
  3. If it needs to be done, let’s get it done.
  4. It may not be fun, but it’s important.
  5. Always keep the end in mind.

Ask your parents and other adults in your life about their jobs, what they loved, and what bored them to tears. Even their dream job had dreary, boring elements.

Look at what participation in your family is about.  Nobody likes to clean toilets, but it has to be done.  The same for doing laundry, taking out the recycling, and cleaning up after the dog.  They all contribute to the well-being of the family, just as the tedious jobs contribute to the success of a business.  Besides, when the chores are done, that opens up the opportunity for everyone to have some fun.

Once you become accustomed to doing what needs to be done, you will be better prepared for the work world.  Employers will be grateful to have you, too.

Have you noticed that not once did I mention book smarts or scores? That’s because learning can take you just so far. If you can’t do what needs to be done, be a team player, and take direction, it doesn’t matter how smart you are.

Here’s a personal story about one of my less-than-dream-jobs. I’ve worn many hats over the years:  teacher, recruiter, office manager, secretary. My kids heard about a lot of my experiences.  Recruiting especially challenged everything about me, was unpredictable and full of disappointments – the endless cold calling and data entry, candidates who didn’t show up for interviews, placements that fell apart at the last minute… and then back to square one, every day there was square one… cold calling and data entry.

Recruiting was definitely not the right job for me, but it prepared me for other opportunities, and I learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses.  That’s an important point: Each experience prepares you for the next step, hopefully one that takes you closer to using your talents in a satisfying way.

You should dream and work towards something fulfilling to you; however, you have to support yourself and be productive while that evolves.

It takes years for most of us to figure out what truly makes us happy.  I discovered my unique potential in coaching at the age of 52.  How about you?  I hope you find yours sooner, rather than later.  But when you don’t have your dream job right away, you still need to give your best to the job you do have. Eventually you will find the work you are meant to do.

Fern_Weiss_The_Teen_Mentor_Parent_CoachAbout the Author: Fern WEIS, Monthly Mentor and Parent Mentor, is a certified Parent Empowerment Coach and Family Recovery Coach. While teaching middle school for 13 years, Fern trained as a life coach and founded her business, Your Family Matters, in 2008. Fern works with parents of teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations, from the homework wars to addiction recovery, and all points in between. Through group programs and private coaching, parents work on communication skills, building relationship and setting boundaries with love and respect. Fern helps parents release guilt, end enabling, and confidently prepare their children to thrive and be successful through life’s challenges. Read More…

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