In fourth grade, my English teacher Mrs. Dempsey was a stickler for proper grammar. Not a surprise given the fact that by the time she was my teacher, she had already welcomed 30 years of students into her classroom. While yes, she taught me a great deal about grammar and punctuation, her greatest lesson was always checking your work before turning it in.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only student who was taught this invaluable lesson by one of the many outstanding teachers throughout the United States (and globally, for that matter). But lately, I’m beginning to wonder if the practice and benefits of checking your work are now unimportant to today’s youth and, sadly, today’s workers.
Time and time again, I continue to see adults with high-paying salaries and elaborate titles who are unable to properly craft a letter, email, presentation, department update, and the list goes on. In addition, they are often littered with spelling and grammatical errors and most definitely have forgotten the cardinal rule I learned back in the fourth grade – the importance of checking your work before turning it in.
I’m certainly not an English scholar, and I feel as though the older I get, and the more I read and write, the more I’m still learning about proper grammar and punctuation.
But there is no excuse for not taking the time to review what you’ve written before turning it in. So often, I catch errors and fragmented sentences on my second and third reads, and I certainly do not possess the high-paying salary and elaborate title of those who seem to be the greatest offenders.
Checking your work is free. Taking the additional time to ensure your perception is one of credibility and details, not carelessness, should be a top priority for everyone – always.
Furthermore, there are online resources today which make checking your work even more accessible than ever before.
Checking your work might seem like a waste of time, but it shows your co-workers and employees that your care about the work that you do, from the shortest email to the longest presentation.
Always make sure you put your best effort forward, for you never know who might be looking.