Mar 2, 2016

Work Ethic

The issue of a populous of people lacking work ethic has been a recent topic of popular debate, ever since another 20-something spouted off about her so-called terrible working conditions during her time at Yelp.

To those who haven't read this article....I'm going to give you a bit of a spoiler: she was fired immediately after posting her open letter to the owner of Yelp.

Personally? I'm glad she was fired. I wouldn't continue to employ anybody ungrateful enough to assume that their first job would be filled with a standard 40 hour work-week and a ton of perks.

It's your first job. Dig in. Make something of yourself. Put in the work. Be proud.

I had not bothered to read the original article, until someone else posted a retaliation article about what it means to have a proper work ethic. It was written by a girl in her late 20's, and was a breath of fresh air to the seeming endless masses of young people who feel that once they finally finish college (because that's the hardest part of adulting, right?), they should rightfully be owed the position of CEO, or something equally lucrative.

Why work your way up when you should just be granted seniority?
But my parents told me I was THE BEST. 
Shouldn't I be placed on my golden throne just as they said?

I will admit, it does make me hot under the collar to think there are people in this world that don't understand it takes hard work, dedication, commitment and follow-through to reap the rewards of a life you think you deserve.

A lot of what I see stems from the notion that we set up these now-adults to enter a world where "YOU CAN HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANT. THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!"

The issue with these types of statements is they are only half true.

Let me elaborate:

YOU CAN HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANT...if you take the time to work for it.

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT...if you are willing to make the sacrifices and put in the long hours to reap the rewards that you desire.

THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER if you take a stand, mold yourself into something greater, and do your part.

YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT...if you apply yourself.
Learn from those before you.
Understand your surroundings.
Get back up and do it better.

I would like to think I have established a good work ethic, and was lucky enough to marry into a family of like-minded do-ers.

Every day of our lives, Mark and I get up well before sunrise to accomplish the tasks that no one else is going to do for us.
We go against the "norm" of society and hit the hay early to make sure we have the energy to take on the next day.

Partying and staying up all hours of the night watching TV and snacking and generally not accomplishing anything has no room in our life.

We WANT to get ahead.
We WANT to better our lives.
I WANT to be in good shape, therefore I workout most days and choose to take the time to eat correctly and meal prep as needed.
Mark WANTS to run a successful company, so he makes the calls and plans his days at hours that may be deemed unfit to some.
We WANTED to buy a bigger home, on a larger lot, with some privacy, and we WANT it to be upgraded to our liking.
We WANT a child, therefore, will go through Hell or high-water this year to make it happen.
We WANT to retire at a decent age, and plan to do so by putting in the hours NOW to ensure our success.

And sometimes we fail.
But instead of pitching a fit, we figure out how to fix it and make it better the next time.

Throughout my childhood, I was told to not give up when the going gets hard, and if I want to be good at something, I have to practice.

For my third Christmas, my parents gifted me a keyboard and a music book.

I'm not sure they had any intention of me actually putting it to use, I mean, my fingers couldn't even reach an octave at that point. I was THREE.

But within a couple of hours, I had figured out how to read the elementary music and was playing Up On The Housetop without skipping a beat.

My parents, over-joyed, threw me into piano lessons faster than you could blink an eye.

I was a natural, but as I progressed in my lessons, I never really gave it much thought to practice unless I really, really needed to.

That was, until I entered my first contest.
I was up against some serious competitors (at age 5!) that ended up embarrassing me to no end because their talent was paramount.

And I cried because IT WASN'T FAIR!

And my dad looked me square in the eye, and said, if I wanted to be great, I had to work harder than everyone else.

So I put in the effort.
I practiced until my itty bitty fingers had callouses, then kept going.

I would memorize one song, then move onto the next, honing my skills along the way.
And each and every competition moving forward, I crushed, because I wanted to be the best.

Hard work pays off.

From that point forward, it set the tone for every task, every to-do list, every accomplishment I have ever made.

Nothing is worth doing if it's not worth your full effort.

You respect nothing and have no gratitude for those things you have been handed in life.

That doesn't mean life has to beat you down relentlessly for eternity.

If you're stuck doing something you hate, and have given it all you've got, exhausted all your resources, then make the choice to change, but do it wisely.

Be smart about changes and upgrades, learn from those older than you, survey your surroundings and make sound decisions.

My goal with work has always been the most money for the least amount of work.

But that doesn't mean I am lazy, nor does it mean I expected that straight out of college.

I put in more hours at more shitty jobs than I care to re-hash.

Each and every shitty job has managed to teach me something very important as I moved into the next position, and climbed the ladder to where I am today.

And guess what? I'm still climbing that damn ladder.
Still improving myself and my life.

A person needs life experience to get ahead.

They need the setbacks and failures as much as they need the accomplishments and triumphs.
Because it's those setbacks that make you grateful for things you can do or buy or become later in life.

The moral of the story CAN have anything you want in life, as long as you work for it.
Luck has a bit to do with it sometimes, but for each goal achieved, luck is a mere 5-10% of it.
Hard work is the other 90%.

And no, you don't have much life experience out of college.
That's what your 20's are for.
So eat some humble pie, wise up, and join the rest of the hard workers at the's where you wanted to be anyways, remember?

Thanks for reading.


  1. Why, WHY did I just waste five minutes of my life reading that dumb article....? Cry me a river, you have to live pay check to pay check just like everyone else that age. Come on!

    I'm with you - hard work and you can have anything you want in your life. :) then, it's all about appreciating what you have.

  2. I read both articles as well. I have a little sis who started out as an intern in SF and has student loans. She works hard and it's not easy, but she's surviving without a Gofund me account for living expenses because in life that is what you have to do. I've been broke, but I never blamed anyone else but myself for it. I think that's the part I don't get. Why she would think her job owes her a certain salary.

  3. AMEN to this! My first job out of college was on a campaign... and it was not glamorous. There were times I worked 100 hours a week, if not more. I slept on the floor and on people's couches. And I made $10 an hour. But it led me to a full-time, cushy job. When all of my friends were going out, I was at work. But I was also the first one with a job. We were taught to work hard in my family- my dad still works 80 hours a week. So this stuff doesn't register with me at all. Sorry for the long reply... this stuff fires me up!

  4. Yep, Amen for sure Tia! I absolutely LOVED this post. My boss, whose son is graduating college in a few short months, got him yet his THIRD summer intern at the office of someone she knows - and I hear her on the phone praising her son for working at such and such company, and as I sat at my desk I wanted to say out loud "because you got him the fucking job!" She's rewritten his personal statement for law school applications, called her son sick into work because it's her friend, and I am waiting for the time when she can't interfere with her son's life and he's in for a rude awakening that he actually has to WORK for what he wants, not just have it handed to him.

    But then I just remembered, I don't care, because I don't work there anymore! Hahaha! Hugs to you - I was about to say happy Saturday because I made pancakes this morning, but it's only Wednesday :D

  5. I absolutely loved this post. I don't think that many people take into consideration the hard work that comes with being successful. Society tends to give people the impression that going to college ensures a successful future and unfortunately, people fall for the misconception then become agitated later on when they're not getting the results they believed they would.