Chinese Work Ethic

There is strong rationale for China's status as an economic giant. Chinese people, like those from other Asian nations, have a reputation for being diligent workers. The Chinese work ethic is rooted in a Confucian principle that mandates deference to elders and a commitment to excellence. It's true that Confucius lived and taught many centuries ago, yet his ideas continue to influence China's culture and civilization.

Chinese people are not afraid of putting in long hours since they know that is the key to their success. Here are seven lessons we may take from the Chinese work ethic:

The Perception of Time

In Chinese culture, promptness is highly valued and even seen as a virtue. The Chinese are very punctual, and they take offense quite quickly. Even in Japan, we find the same thing to be true. In India, strict adherence to time limits and schedules is not expected. Arriving 10–15 minutes late is the norm rather than the exception. In a nation like China, however, such an approach would be disastrous.

Pay Attention to Outcomes

The Chinese have several sayings that express their mentality regarding toil. Chinese workers are taught that their efforts will pay off and improve their quality of life. One such saying is "nothing is impossible to a willing mind," or shshàng w nánsh. When the Chinese set their minds on something, they don't stop until they've accomplished it. This outlook and guiding philosophy is a major factor in the success of several Chinese-owned businesses and initiatives across the globe.

Chi Ku

The Chinese are very results-oriented and will stop at nothing to provide outstanding service. It was claimed in the Wall Street Journal in 2014 that the typical Chinese worker puts in between 2,000 and 2,200 hours annually. This is reminiscent of "Chi Ku," a fundamental tenet of the Confucian labor ethic that emphasizes forging forth despite setbacks. One of the best ways to get esteem (and maybe even a promotion) is to practice Chi Ku.

It's not a matter of luck if you succeed.

You've probably heard the adage "hard effort trumps talent." In any case, the Chinese can vouch to that. The Chinese are taught from an early age that success comes from a combination of skill and effort. And this proves why they are called a financial juggernaut. Despite a worldwide economic downturn, China's development has been astounding. Rapid growth over the last decade is not due to technical progress, but rather is a tribute to the hard work ethic that is ingrained in local Chinese culture.

The Pursuit of Excellence

You're probably aware of the many Western corporations that have an Asian staff. This is due only to the fact that they are very motivated to succeed. I'm not saying that other cultures don't value achievement, but the Chinese seem to have it programmed into their DNA. Every Chinese individual is born with a natural competitive streak and is taught to be goal-oriented from an early age. The fact that so many people from their nation work for corporations throughout the globe is evidence enough.

Being unproductive is a serious offense

"A lazy Chinaman does not exist," the American comedian Mark Twain reportedly said. "He always finds to find something to do."

Twain said it best. China didn't reach its current level of development via laziness or lack of effort. Given the Chinese culture of hard labor, it is very uncommon for businesses to provide bonuses to workers who finish a project early. It is common practice to rush through tasks in order to move on to the next one.

Work smarter as well as harder

It's not uncommon for Chinese people to push themselves to their limits when times are severe. They're not put off by difficulties; rather, they merely figure out a method to overcome them. They devise novel approaches to accomplish standard objectives. Good enough has a phrase in Chinese: cha bu duo. The end outcome is more important than following strict procedures in cha bu duo.

Your knowledge of the Chinese work ethic has prepared you to pursue new ground and further your career with an internship in China.

Personal member service
Click for details
Corporate member service
Click for details