What separates the successful from the unsuccessful? Most of the time, it’s a good work ethic — but what exactly does it mean to have a good work ethic? 


A work ethic is a set of principles that guide an individual’s behavior in the workplace. These principles usually emphasize hard work and determination. While having a strong work ethic doesn’t guarantee success, it certainly increases your chances of achieving your goals. So if you want to be successful in life, start by instilling in yourself a strong sense of responsibility and commitment. Having a work ethic is a skill that you can develop at any age with practice.


Here are some of the most important characteristics of a good work ethic include: 


  • Hard Work: Accomplishing great things almost always takes hard work. If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to consistently put in the effort until the job is done right. 
  • Punctuality: Being on time is important because it shows that you’re respectful of other people’s time and that you’re reliable. When you’re punctual, people can count on you to be there when you say you will be and get the job done on time.
  • Integrity: People with integrity are trustworthy and reliable. They do what they say they’re going to do, and they don’t cut corners. 
  • Discipline: Discipline is about being able to control yourself and stay focused on your goals. It’s about delaying gratification and making sacrifices so that you can achieve your long-term objectives. Discipline is a necessary ingredient for having a good work ethic.
  • Responsibility: Being responsible requires taking ownership of your actions and being accountable for your mistakes.



  1. Do you consider yourself to have a strong work ethic? 
  2. Think of someone you know who has a strong work ethic. Why do you think their work ethic helps them to succeed? 
  3. What characteristics would you use to describe someone with a strong work ethic?