A QUICK GUIDE ON PROFESSIONALISM

by Aug 24, 2020Business Talks

Photo by Canva Studio from Pexels

Hello there, how has the weekend been? As we step into the beginning of a new week and the usual work routine comes up, how about, you spice up something’s on your business career? Today we are looking at the word professionalism and we had to make some good research all thanks to My Business World, we bring you a well detailed guide on professionalism and this applies to any kind of career at all.

We all know that it’s essential to be professional if we want to be a success. But what does “being professional” actually mean?

For some, being professional might mean dressing smartly at work, or doing a good job. For others, being professional means having advanced degrees or other industry-related certifications, framed and hung on the office wall.

Professionalism encompasses all of these definitions. But, it also covers much more. So what is professionalism, and why does it matter? And how can you be more professional in your day-to-day role?

In this article we’ll explore all of these questions, so that you can present a really professional image in the workplace

Defination

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines professionalism as “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person;” and it defines a profession as “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation.”

These definitions imply that professionalism encompasses a number of different attributes, and, together, these attributes identify and define a professional.

So, what are these attributes?

The Knowledge

First and foremost, professionals are known for their specialized knowledge. They’ve made a deep personal commitment to develop and improve their skills, and, where appropriate, they have the degrees and certifications that serve as the foundation for this knowledge. 

Not all business areas have a stable core of knowledge (and the academic qualifications that go with this); not all areas demand extensive knowledge to practice successfully; and not all professionals have top degrees in their field. What matters, though, is that the professionals operating in these areas have worked in a serious, thoughtful and sustained way to master the specialized knowledge needed to succeed in their fields. 

Competency

Professionals get the job done. They’re reliable, and they keep their promises. If circumstances arise that prevent them from delivering on their promises, they manage expectations up front, and they do their best to make the situation right. 

Professionals don’t make excuses, but focus on finding a solution.

Honesty and Integrity

Professionals exhibit qualities such as honesty and integrity. They keep their word, and they can be trusted implicitly because of this. They never compromise their values, and will do the right thing, even when it means taking a harder road.

Quality Work

They can also be counted on for high-quality work. They care about what they do, and they consistently work to improve the quality of their work, because they’re committed to meeting the needs of the people who depend on them.

Respect

Genuine professionals show respect for the people around them, no matter what their role or situation. They exhibit a high degree of emotional intelligence (EI) by considering the emotions and needs of others, and they don’t let a bad day impact how they interact with colleagues or clients. 

Continual Improvement

Professionals don’t let their skills or knowledge get outdated. They’re committed to staying up-to-date with trends and skills related to their industry, so that they can continue to provide the best quality of work possible.

Humility

Smiling Group of Professionals — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

True professionals are humble – if a project or job falls outside their scope of expertise, they’re not afraid to admit this. They immediately ask for help when they need it, and they’re willing to learn from others.

Accountability

Professionals hold themselves accountable for their thoughts, words and actions, especially when they’ve made a mistake. This personal accountability is closely tied to honesty and integrity, and it’s a vital element in professionalism. 

Self-Regulation

They also stay professional under pressure.

For instance, imagine a customer service employee who’s faced with an insulting customer. Instead of getting upset or angry in return, the employee exhibits true professionalism by maintaining a calm, business-like connection, and by doing everything that she can to make the situation right.

Image

Professionals look the part – they don’t show up to work sloppily dressed, with unkempt hair. They’re polished, and they dress appropriately for the situation. Because of this, they exude an air of confidence, and they gain respect for this.

How to Exhibit Professionalism

As you can see from these characteristics, professionals are the kind of people that others respect and value. They are a genuine credit to their teams!

This is why it’s so important that we work to earn a professional reputation in the workplace. True professionals are the first to be considered for promotions, they are awarded valuable projects or clients, and they are routinely successful in their careers. 

Now that you have a clear view of what constitutes professionalism, do you feel that you demonstrate these characteristics to the people around you? It’s likely you’re already showing some characteristics, but you may find yourself lacking in others: to build your own professionalism, focus on improving each of the ten characteristics. (Focus on one at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.)

Additionally, here are some further strategies that will help you be more professional in the workplace:

Build Expert Power

Don’t let your knowledge and skills get outdated. Make a commitment to build expertise and stay up-to-date with your industry. 

Tip:
Take our Bite-Sized training session on Building Expert Power to find out how to build and maintain your own expert power.

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

Professionals can sense the emotional needs of others. They’re able to give clients and coworkers what they need, because they know how to listen actively and observe what’s happening.

So, if you want to improve your professionalism, focus on developing emotional intelligence.

Honor Your Commitments

Whenever you make a promise to your boss, colleagues, or clients, keep it. If it looks like you won’t be able to meet a deadline, let your boss, team or client know as soon as possible. However, do everything you can to avoid ending up in this situation!

Don’t make excuses – instead, focus on meeting expectations as best you can, and making the situation right.

Be Polite

Be kind and polite and use good manners to everyone you come into contact with, no matter what their role is, and no matter how you’re feeling. This might sound unimportant, but it makes an significant impact.

Have the Tools You Need

Do you show up to a client meeting lacking important samples? Or arrive at work, only to realize that you left a vital file at home? Or do you find yourself operating in situations where you don’t have the skills needed to do a good job?

True professionals are always prepared. This requires advance planning, timeliness and attention. Focus on improving your time management and planning skills, so that you’re always in control.

Note:
 
Although professionalism means keeping commitments, doing high quality work, and having expert status, occasionally the pursuit of these attributes might tempt you not to volunteer for projects that fall outside your “comfort zone.” 

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t try! Analyze risks beforehand to minimize the consequences of getting things wrong, be honest about any skills gaps that you have, and work to fill them. Then do the best you possibly can!

Key Points

Professionalism is a trait that’s highly valued in the workforce. It has many attributes, including:

  1. Competency.
  2. Honesty and Integrity.
  3. Quality Work.
  4. Respect.
  5. Continual Improvement.
  6. Expert Status.
  7. Humility.
  8. Accountability.
  9. Self-Regulation.
  10. Image.

To improve your own professionalism, focus on improving each of these ten areas.

You can also exude professionalism by being kind and polite to everyone, presenting a professional image in your attitude and dress, and showing up for work or meetings fully prepared.

Always stay connected to gbedustreet, we keep you informed, educated and entertained.

source @my business world

©Gbedustreet

About Ultimate Akpenyi

Ultimate Akpenyi is a passionate writer and a music artist. Born into a family of six, he loves controversial issues and also celebrates every kind of success. Keen in speaking about people and showcasing behind the scene lives of celebrities, we should be on the look out for him

About Ultimate Akpenyi

Ultimate Akpenyi is a passionate writer and a music artist. Born into a family of six, he loves controversial issues and also celebrates every kind of success. Keen in speaking about people and showcasing behind the scene lives of celebrities, we should be on the look out for him

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