Are You 
Looking Good At Work?

By Rhoberta Shaler, Ph.D.

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, speaks, coaches & conducts seminars for entrepreneurs & professionals who want the motivation, strategies and inspiration to achieve, to lead and to live richly.

Bolds and emphasis marks have been added by the editor.

What IS your focus at work? 

Do you want to look good? Or, do good?

What attitude do you bring to work each day? 

Are you there to cover your anatomy or give real service to the organization? 

Are you there to give the best of your skills and creativity or are you there to do the least you can for a pay check?

What if you work for yourself? 

This can be the most exciting and compelling work, however, you can kid yourself there as well. I've met many folks who have good ideas, great skills and excellent health and are not successful. Most often, as I work with them in a coaching capacity, it becomes clear that they are afraid to take their ideas to the marketplace. 

As long as they are talking about what is possible, researching, studying, networking, 'developing', they kid themselves that they are doing something. They are always 'getting ready'. That, of course, does prevent failure. No one will say 'No' to you if you don't ask for their business. 

You can look very good 
while doing no good 
for yourself or your bank account!

When any person's work life is built on the basis of 'How can I do the least for the most money?', the equation stops working. 

It stops working for the company obviously. The employee is not giving value for time and money spent. The company cannot prosper. Jobs are lost and you'll likely be the first to go. 

It stops working for the employee in a few ways, too. Not only are they more likely to be fired, they will not be happy. They will find fault, cause problems, and irritate co-workers who need them to pull their weight. 

It gets even more curious when they blame their inertia on the company or the people at work. Big problem!

This focus is wrong. If you are going to spend 30 to 35% or more of your life hours working each week, make it the best experience possible for all concerned. That includes you! Think about this:

You will never have the hours from 8 AM to 5 PM on March 20th, 2002 again. 

What makes the most sense? Marking time at work doing the least you can while complaining and hoping no one will get on your back, or, putting a smile on your face and doing fair work for fair pay with a good attitude and not having to look over your shoulder?

Giving your best at work is economical. That is what uses the least amount of emotional energy. I hope you believe that. It is the difference between just wanting to look good to save your anatomy and wanting to do good to save your integrity.

Not long ago I came across some statistics that showed that 85% of the people surveyed said they could do much better at work...if they wanted to! 

That is a truly disturbing percentage, don't you think? Although I can no longer find that study, the results have stuck in my mind. 

What keeps us from 
wanting to do the best job possible at work?


That is a likely contributor, isn't it? 

For some folks, initiative is simply not in their vocabulary. The very idea of seeing what needs to be done and doing it without direction exhausts them. These folks usually lose their jobs and blame their employers.


These folks do not understand the 'Give First' philosophy. No, it's not airy-fairy, pie-in-the-sky thinking. In all areas of life, if your focus is on giving, you'll end up with a lot more. I'm not talking about 'I-don't-know-you-but-I-love you' kind of giving, either. 

Place yourself in a work environment that helps you. Notice that even doing something you do not love will give you a pay check and that is helpful! 

Give first. Do your job well and you will get your pay check regularly. You may even be promoted.


No one will notice if I put these in the wrong place or take an extra ten minutes on my lunch hour. Wrong. People do notice. 

The boss may take a while to notice but your co-workers catch on right away...and, they don't like it! You are creating a problem.


Ever had the thought, 'They are just not paying me enough to do this much'? That could be true. 

You do have options. 

There is no magic success pill. 

Some employers do want a pound of flesh while paying for a pittance. Often, though, you will be rewarded for pitching in and pulling your weight. And after all, you did choose the job.


Sometimes we've all had to do this. I remember having to at times when I was a young mother on my own with three children. 

We do what we have to do, 
AND, you can still do it with the right attitude. 

That pay check is important, so, give good value to the person who is giving it to you. Remember, they do not have to have you there. 

Making yourself invaluable in any job has its own rewards. 


The answer is all in your attitude and willingness. 

The most compelling reason I can give you for doing your best at work is that you'll feel better. Focus on doing a good job. Go the extra mile. Remember that excellence is in the details. Give full value for time paid. You'll not only feel better, you'll feel better about yourself.

Looking good is only a beginning. 

Is it time to look at your work with new eyes?

Doing a good job is where you will see your real satisfaction.

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, speaks, coaches & conducts seminars for entrepreneurs & professionals who want the motivation, strategies and inspiration to achieve, to lead and to live richly.

Hear her weekly on

Dr. Shaler is the creator of the Living Richly™ Programs. For further articles, free ezines, upcoming teleseminars and booking information, visit today! For permission to reprint Rhoberta's original article, please contact

Editor's Note:  This philosophy reminds me of an essay I found on Tale Wins. It saw the first light of day in 1899 and since then has been reprinted in every written language on earth.  When you get a chance, click HERE and surf over to read it.  

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