Professionalism is not just dressing nice or having an advanced degree. In the working world, there are many more guidelines to follow in order to be considered a professional. According to dictionary.com, the definition of professional includes the following: Expert in field which one is practicing, excellent practical and literary skills in relation to profession, high quality in work, high standard of ethics, reasonable work morale and motivation, appropriate treatment of relationships with colleagues, and commitment to the field.
This article is based on this definition of professionalism, and it will explain why it is important to strive to be a professional in your field.
1. Valued in the Workplace
Demonstrating professionalism is important at all levels in a company. Professionalism can benefit the company reputation, morale and success. It is not only the individuals in leadership roles that need to show professionalism. All people should demonstrate the skill of professionalism to be considered for job advancement, recognition and to show colleagues their supportive and team-player side. Professionalism will go a long way in your personal career success, as well as the success of the company you are working for. It will also be valued when looking at those up for possible promotions.
2. Professionalism to the Client, Employer and Co-Workers
Professionalism is not required for clients only. Professionalism must be displayed at all times and to all groups of people. If you display professional behavior to your boss only, your co-workers will start to see that you are not honest, and you are not able to provide appropriate relationships to all that you work with. Professionalism to each group shows your true self, your commitment to the field and your high standards in work and ethics. If you are rude or inappropriate to others, you will not advance in your career and may even lose your job. All people you encounter deserve to be treated professionally.
3. Professionalism in Your Work Product
It is important to know your professionalism is not just displayed to others, but through your work as well. To be successful you need to show a quality work product that you take pride in. Your professionalism to your work can be as simple as correct grammar and consistency in presentation. You must take pride in all aspects of your work.
4. Practicing Professionalism
Now, you know why it is important to be professional, but how do you do it? How do you demonstrate professionalism? You can demonstrate this through interactions that are appropriate, job-focused, team oriented and with a positive attitude. You want to treat all people with respect, and you want to be open and accepting of feedback. Can you control your emotions if something frustrates you? Do you storm out of a meeting if something is decided on that you don’t agree with? How do you behave if you are feeling stressed? Are you rude to others? Avoid a grungy appearance, inappropriate language/volume of voice, missed deadlines, lack of motivation or care, blaming others, not respecting privacy and not holding up your end of the work. Demonstrating your pride in the company and your work, your ability to be non-judgmental, your self-control and your maturity will show the world that you are a real-life professional. You can start now in building your high standards and appropriate working relationships.