Work Ethic Is Somewhat Difficult To Define, But When A Person Has It, Everyone Knows How It Looks.



It’s All About Work Ethic

By Paul Sorgule, MS, AAC

Work ethic is somewhat difficult to define, but when a person has it, everyone knows how it looks. Some may feel that people are born with a strong work ethic, but in most cases it is an acquired trait that comes from the environment where a person matures (in the home or on the job).  Those with a strong work ethic will typically hail from a family or business where that is the norm.

“People don’t understand that when I grew up, I was never the most talented. I was never the biggest. I was never the fastest. I certainly was never the strongest. The only thing I had was my work ethic, and that’s been what has gotten me this far.”
– Tiger Woods

Work ethic is likely the most important individual trait that a chef or restaurateur looks for in a kitchen employee. Certainly, a cook’s skill level, palate and work history are important factors, all of which will continue to develop on the job. Work ethic is something that an individual brings with them or it simply does not exist. It is this work ethic that molds a person into the cook or chef who will make a difference, build a restaurant’s reputation and help to create an environment where others want to work.

A person who brings a solid work ethic to the table is likely someone who exemplifies this trait in everything they do. When a chef observes this in an individual, then it is safe to assume that the person applies this in other aspects of his or her life—it can’t be turned on and off.

“Developing a good work ethic is key. Apply yourself at whatever you do, whether you’re a janitor or taking your first summer job, because that work ethic will be reflected in everything you do in life.”
– Tyler Perry

So, how do you recognize a person who personifies great work ethic in the kitchen?  Here are a few surefire ways to discover if a person has the right stuff:


I remember a wise career cook who told me in my early kitchen days that there is always something to do in a kitchen and that I should never appear idle. “Stay busy, be the example of hustle and make sure that others feel the sense of urgency that you always display. The chef will respond well to this example.” I never lost sight of this advice and tried to be this example in every aspect of my life.


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