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Editorial: Professionalism equals self-respect

What you do when you think no one is watching matters

May 13, 2019  By Colleen Cross

What does professionalism mean to you?

Does it mean drilling safely and following all the regulations? Does it stand for honesty, integrity and fair dealing? Does it mean giving the customer a high-quality water well?

Does it mean keeping your training credentials up to date and making sure your employees are up to date as well?


Is it about supporting your association? Meeting or exceeding industry standards? Learning about new techniques and technologies? Playing fair with the competition?

You know the answer to these questions: all of the above . . . and more.

Some of these principles are borrowed from the Ontario Ground Water Association’s code of ethics and conduct, a worthy document that says what needs to be said in as few words as possible.

There are other less obvious habits that may not be enshrined in any code but are just as important. There is setting a good example for employees by not badmouthing customers (or other employees or the competition). There is keeping your paperwork in tidy order so that nothing slips through the cracks and you’re quick with an invoice and a tax filing.

Professional habits are good for your customers, good for your employees and good for the industry’s image.

But the bottom line is they are good for you and your business. They help you as a business owner develop a sense of pride about your work. That filters through everything you do.

It’s fair to say the trades don’t always get the respect they deserve considering the work they do is always in demand and, in the case of water-well drillers, essential. Parents encourage their kids to get university degrees, often not presenting skilled trades training as a good alternative.

But respect begins with self-respect – including what you do when you think no one is watching – and it begins at the top of any business, whether it be a business of two, 20 or 200.

It’s all about how we see ourselves. And because ground water is a largely hidden resource, it can be hard to explain and show to the public.

We at Ground Water Canada want to know how you see yourselves, ground water and your industry. That’s why we are launching a cover photo contest to gather interesting snapshots of the well-drilling industry. Send your crew out with their smartphones (on the high-resolution setting, please) and get behind this fun contest!

Show us the challenges, successes and ins and outs of your drilling season, and your photo could be featured on the cover of our Winter 2020 issue!

Here are details and photo ideas. Get your photos in to us by July 31, 2019 – I know, I know, it’s the busy season with drillers going dawn to dusk. That’s part of the point: we want those photos as the work is happening and while it’s fresh on your mind!

We look forward to seeing your photos, learning your stories and hearing your comments about the magazine. Have a good season!

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