To improve professionalism, focus on improving in each of these areas. A professional has high ethical standards and displays integrity and excellence in work and helps advance the industry in which he is employed. Becoming more professional at work begins with having a positive attitude toward your job. Aim to demonstrate hard work, dedication and leadership. Find ways to network with others in the field and keep informed on new developments affecting your job. As you take steps to become more professional in the workplace, you may also find greater job satisfaction.
Firstly, have a professional attitude. Be supportive of your boss and co-workers. Don’t gossip about them behind their backs. Show that you are dedicated to the company by arriving at work promptly and staying until quitting time. Put in extra time when it is required without grumbling. Be respectful of your co-workers by not using their supplies or work areas without permission and by not taking up their time unnecessarily. Cheerfully give credit to others for their accomplishments. Secondly, demonstrate professional maturity. Do your work with excellence. Accept responsibility for your mistakes.
If you have made an error, don’t shift the blame to anyone or anything else. Own up to the problem and offer to solve it. Learn to anticipate problems before they arise so that you can avoid them. Avoid petty interoffice bickering. Eliminate distractions, such as a radio, computer games or snacks on your desk. Thirdly, Dress professionally. Wear your uniform with utmost cleanliness and choose modest, conservative clothing that reflects the more formal end of the attire accepted at your workplace. Fourthly, manage your time and work space professionally. Create a calendar on your desk or computer to note appointments and deadlines.
Check the calendar regularly so that you stay on schedule with tasks. Organize your work area so that you can readily find the files or materials that you need. To be more efficient, use space-saving and step-saving storage solutions. Fifthly, be a role model in your profession. Offer to make presentations, committees or become a liaison to a professional society. Stay current with changes in your profession through seminars and share the information you have learned with your co-workers. Take risks and demonstrate that you are a problem-solver by agreeing to take on difficult tasks and communicate in a professional manner.
It is essential to be professional if you want to be a success. 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 certifications, framed and hung on the office wall. Professionalism encompasses all of these definitions. 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 of this knowledge.
Not all 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 these professionals have worked in a serious, thoughtful and sustained way to master the specialized knowledge needed to succeed in their fields; and that they keep this knowledge up-to-date, so that they can continue to deliver the best work possible. Professionals get the job done. They are 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 and don’t make excuses, but focus on finding solutions, 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. More than this, 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 and 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. They also stay professional under pressure. For instance, imagine a customer service employee who’s faced with an irate customer. Instead of getting upset or angry in return, the employee exhibits true professionalism by maintaining a calm, business-like demeanor, and by doing everything that she can to make the situation right.