Professionalism is perhaps the most misunderstood and over described term in modern times. Therefore, it is difficult to explain the precise expectation clearly. And because we often hear how vital it is to behave “professionally” we go on with our own interpretation of the expected perception.
The customary code of conduct is our easiest adaptation on following the method of the organisation, which to us is our guide to being a professional employee. We follow guileless like the dress code, office hours, doing the given job in a timely manner, basic dos and don’ts, which are self-explanatory. One doesn’t ponder over it for long and accepts, if what is written is followed, one will be considered a professional employee.
But what to employers exactly mean by this term? Certainly, it’s good to do one’s job well and show up on time regularly. But then again are there additional things expected of you if you rightly want to be regarded as a professional?
Your employer might not tell you exactly about their idea of being professional simply because they may expect you to know about it. It may only come up when you indulge in something they term “Unprofessional” or “Unexpected”, (for instance not attending a meeting with equipment to take notes)
Ways to be considered a professional:
Acting like or conceivably one will be considered professional if your actions and presence make others think of you as a Reliable, Competent, Dependable, Respectful, and Believer of Integrity.
Being professional would mean to be consistently good at what you do, staying true to your words, meeting deadlines dependable, to be upfront about where things stand, to approach people with respect and most importantly to be proactive in upgrading your skills, being positive, focused, not letting your personal life dominate professional, listening to what is being said, supporting others, making informed decisions.
As said earlier the definition is vast, but if genuinely thought over, the above-mentioned traits are only a few ways to building a Professional Atmosphere which has myriad advantages.
- Creates Boundaries - Workers who conduct themselves professionally avoid crossing their line with subordinates, superiors or clients
- Creates an Atmosphere of Improvement – A professional atmosphere is more conducive to success.
- The sense of Responsibility – In a professional atmosphere, an employee while handling a task, sees the larger purpose, and hence are able to own their actions and take appropriate decisions. One takes pride in performing the tasks assigned to them. This adds to the overall image of not only the employee but also showcases the value by which the organisation stands.
- Mitigates Conflicts – businesses which promote a professional atmosphere also makes it easier to deal with diverse environments in which subordinates or even clients could have a difference of opinion however they can agree to disagree and come together on common grounds.
- Increased Job Satisfaction – Professionalism eliminates stress to a great degree and once that is taken care of an employee thrives in a healthy atmosphere leading to enhanced performance.
- Personal Growth – Not only in terms of job advancement, but there are a certain dignity and pride in one’s work that develops. You get appreciated for consistently good quality output and that in turn builds your confidence, makes you a more secure person who is then capable of handling difficult situations with refined emotional maturity.
It is important to note that demonstrating professionalism is important at all levels in an organisation. Professionalism is not the responsibility of the leadership team but is vital at all levels. You can display professionalism in something as small as never forgetting an attachment to your emails, or writing without any grammatical errors, or in something as complex as performing a task with limited resources in the given time even when the delay was unavoidable.
Professionalism can become a part of your personality, (not keeping people waiting, being responsive etc..,) People with high levels of professionalism are most frequently considered for Job advancement.
Professionalism goes a long way in one’s personal career success as well as the success of the organisation.