Throughout your career, you will meet or work with people who only do the minimum requirements, who start working late and stop working early, who waste time, who socialize too much, who repeatedly don't pay attention in meetings. who don't follow instructions, who tax their teammates by not doing their share, and who are always trying to find the easy way out. Be professional with and nice and courteous to everyone (because everyone can bring positive and helpful ideas/concepts to the table). But, make an effort to follow the examples of those who get things done. And remember, having a strong work ethic is only part of a successful career. Being professional, approachable, teachable and capable of building good rapport with others are also very important traits.
I think that a broad combination of people in your social and professional circle will ensure that you are getting a well rounded education. I agree with another post that work ethic comes from within, the desire to be good at what you do. However, sometimes you have to learn how to be good at what you do from other people. Be open to learning from people who do things that are different from the way that you would do it. Ask questions so that you can understand why they do it differently. I am a great believer that communication is a key to being a good co-worker and good to your customers. Make sure that you communicate honestly about what you can and can't do. Ask for help when you need it. Say when you can't meet a deadline and provide a plan for how you can meet another deadline. Sometimes you don't know what to do so watch how others communicate well. Overall, remember that you should be authentic. While you can learn from others, you should make sure that all actions you take are part of who you are. For example, I am not a person who can or even wants to be friends with everyone I work with. It exhausts me and sometimes just feels inauthentic. I prefer to be friendly and professional, rather than friends with most people I work with.
I think putting a good structure in place for you to learn things, refresh your learning and development, and be encouraged to continue is the best! So primarily what can help you implement a structure and keep you accountable?
Some tools that helped me with implementing a structure and reminding me were:
-Trello -Google Calendar -Online courses that remind me to continue learning! -Habit trackers -Pomodoro techniques.
Some people who helped me with accountability:
- myself -my employer (I shared my learning and development plan with them and they'd check in with me on that) -my mentors -my friends and family
I think it can be a little bit of all the things you mentioned combined. Building a good relationship with both your employer and your colleagues greatly benefits your work experience. I have a coworker now who I get along very well with and as a result we work together well too. It allows for better communication which helps you learn things as you go along. And having good relationships with employers and colleagues also may help you if you end up getting a job somewhere else and need recommendations from people.
I also think your own social groups are helpful too in the learning process. If you talk to other people in your field of work you can learn more about the profession and how to work more efficiently.
To have a good work ethic you also have to motivate yourself to do so!
In any case, if you find it hard to enjoy work or you don't feel how your company is doing things is entirely appropriate or ethical, make a plan to find someplace else to work.
People often feel trapped in their jobs for one reason or another. I've felt that way before. You are never trapped and there is always another opportunity for an ethical and hard working person that embraces learning.
Always do more than your employer asks you to do - anything counts, even small, simple things. Always keep your promises. Always be on time.
Surround yourself with the good people who are doing great things. Don't be afraid to chat up the good and/or experienced employees. Just talk to them or sit next to them. You will be surprised what you will learn and how you will grow. If you hang out with good people, you will see good practices that you can mimic.