Northeastern British Columbia






Job Maintenance



Starting Out

Staying On Track

Moving On

Moving Up

Staying on Track

Starting Out focused on basics: preparing to start work, the importance of actually being there, and ways to make a good first impression. 

We will now go on to look at what will set you apart as an exemplary employee:  ethics, teamwork, solid work performance and positive work relationships.  To ensure that you stay employed, it is essential to understand these concepts and to put them into practice.  By doing so you can turn a work placement into a job, a probation period into lasting employment or an entry level position into the first step toward a brilliant career.

  1. Ethics at Work

  2. Teamwork

  3. Quality Work - On Time

  4. Socializing at Work


Ethics at Work

Ethics are the principles or standards that govern our actions. Ethical behaviour at work can be summarized as honesty, accountability and respect.

Here are some reminders of the practical applications of ethics.


  • Respect for self: a healthy lifestyle, optimism and confidence.

  • Respect for others: positive work relationships, based on effective communication and appropriate behaviour.

  • Respect for the organization: taking an interest in the work being done, and caring for the workplace.


  • Taking responsibility for and "owning" your actions and mistakes.

  • Avoiding making excuses or blaming others.

  • Admitting to "not knowing", and then finding out, to avoid making mistakes.


  • Being truthful.

  • Avoiding "time theft" by being on time, keeping personal tasks out of the workplace and by committing to a full day's work.

  • Not assuming personal use of workplace equipment or taking work supplies home.

Making Ethical Decisions

If you are unsure about the ethics of a situation it may help to ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it legal?
  • How does it make you feel?

  • What if your actions were made public?

  • Will it harm anyone?

  • Is it fair?

  • Would you feel differently if it were your business? If you were the customer?


If you work with other people you are part of a team. On teams individuals may be very different from each other and each unique member may have a different level of contribution to make. But everyone is valuable because each member adds to the overall success of the team.

Some tips for being an effective team member:

  • Share the workload, supplies or equipment, workspace and information.

  • Offer to help those who are busier or who you think may need a hand.

  • Communicate directly and honestly while avoiding whining, complaining or gossiping.

  • Appreciate the efforts of your coworkers and opportunities that come your way. A simple "thank you" goes a long way.

  • Keep up the quality and the pace.



Quality Work — On Time

Almost all work has standards for how well it must be done and how fast it must be done. In some cases perfection is required at all costs, and in others speed is most important.

Knowing what is expected at your workplace is essential to getting this balancing act right.

To ensure you are doing quality work:

  • Follow instructions by listening, watching, questioning and practicing.

  • Check results as you go and ask for feedback.

  • Focuson the work - concentrate.

  • Don't look for shortcuts until you are sure of what you are doing.

  • If you make a mistake, learn how to correct it.

  • When finished, check your results.

To ensure you are keeping up:

  • Find out what pace is expected: how much?  how many? how fast? Develop a routine.

  • Make sure you have all the tools or equipment that you need before you start.

  • Work at a steady pace, avoiding distractions such as chatting, coffee breaks, daydreaming.

  • When you finish one task check the results and then move on to the next. Keep going.


Socializing at Work

Getting along with the people you work with is essential to effective and productive teamwork. A good start is having a positive attitude that makes you the kind of person people want to be around. Additionally, finding allies — coworkers you can count on for direction and honest feedback — will be helpful to your fitting in.

To be sure that your "social" behaviour on the job is working for you, here are a few guidelines:

  • Take an interest in everyone; don't exclude people or become part of a "clique".

  • Attend company activities such as sporting events, lunches, staff parties.

  • Avoid gossiping, talking behind someone's back or taking "sides" in internal conflicts.

  • Do not partake in discussions or "humour" that is sexist, racist, or otherwise offensive.

  • Do not accept or be a passive observer of any form of workplace harassment.

  • Do not ask coworkers to buy products from you, and be assertive if you don't want to buy from them.

  • Accept coworkers as they are and avoid passing judgment on their lifestyle choices.

Tips for Conversation

First, don't make assumptions about what people may be interested in. Not all men follow hockey, not all women are into fashion and not everyone who wears baggy pants loves rap.

Second, listen to what your coworkers talk about and join in when it is something that interests you. Don't try to fake knowledge — ask questions instead.

Third, and most important, don't bring details of the most personal aspects of your life, especially problems, into the workplace.

Close Relationships

Coworkers do sometimes become close friends — or more. To keep this from becoming an issue, consider these guidelines:

  • Try to understand the reasons your boss, or other coworkers, may object.

  • Do not let friendship get in the way of being a part of the whole team.

  • Do not use work time to discuss outside plans or activities.

  • Approach any romantic situation cautiously, being aware of company policy and any potential for harassment.