Hard Work to Brighter Smiles

Richard PratherIn my family there was no such thing as easy work. Hard work was the name of the game. I didn’t like getting up early or having to stay longer anywhere. Now that I am older, I must admit that hard work has, indeed, paid off. I was raised in a large family so there was always something that needed to be done. There was the obvious household chores and lawn care, waiting in line for your turn to do laundry, and cooking for 14 people. Now you might be wondering what does this have to do with you, and I’ll tell you: hard work helps you to get ready for the road ahead!

For example, hard work taught me soft skills such as actively listening to upset people, time management, and how to organize important tasks. I agree that it’s not always easy to do the right thing and certainly easy to avoid hard work, but it’s also an easy way to cheat yourself out of the benefits that usually occur from hard work.

My father always yelled my name from a distant room, “JAMES! Where are the screwdrivers and hammer from my toolbox?” I would shake my head and yell back, “here I come, Dad!” “With my tools, I hope!” he yelled from a different point in the house. It took me a minute to remember where I stashed the tools. “Son have a seat, we need to talk.” “Dad, I can’t talk right now, I am going to be late for school!” He smiled, “Oh Really? Well you made me late for this electrical job that needs to be finished in the next hour or two all because you didn’t put things back where you found them – you’re not being very responsible. If you do this at a real job you will be fired on the spot!” I lowered my head in sadness, “sorry Dad.” “Don’t be sorry… just learn from your mistakes and work harder on putting forth a conscious effort to be responsible.”

What I learned in that moment was that hard work won’t bring smiles. In fact, you will be tired, drained or even annoyed. But if enough hard work is done, and done well, you will start to get attention from folks. The attention will sound something like this: ‘Hey, great Job!’ or ‘hey, I need some help on this project; are you available?’ or ‘I know a guy who could use your skillset.’ or ‘I need you to pull a double.’ Now, I have heard these comments before. But you must understand, as a young person hearing those comments meant more work and all I wanted to do was sleep! I didn’t realize those statements were the beginning signs of a great work ethic. The world was beginning to see that I was reliable. I never did like working hard as a young man but once I realized people loved and paid me for putting in the extra effort, the more proud I was to display my skills and abilities. This in turn made my smile show more often, and just a little brighter each and every time.

Don’t be afraid to display your hard-working abilities because there is always someone hard at work trying to find, and pay, the next best, great, awesome, and amazing employee. Workforce Solutions can help make that match!

Richard Prather is a bi-lingual Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions. Richard combines 3 years of experience at Workforce Solutions with his Master’s degree, diverse experiences traveling abroad, and commitment to excellence in customer service to provide training to both customers and staff throughout the 13 counties of the Gulf Coast Region.



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