10 Ways To Be Professional at Work
We often hear how important it is to behave “professionally” in the workplace. If you want to get ahead, be taken seriously, and have your boss think of you as an asset to the team, doing things in a professional way is vital.
But what exactly do employers mean by this term? Surely it’s enough to do your job well and show up on time consistently. Or are there other things expected of you if you want to be viewed as being professional?
Avoid Being Unprofessional
Your employer may not tell you exactly their view of what being professional means. But we all know from experience how to get labelled as “unprofessional.” By finishing tasks or projects late, for instance, being unprepared when attending meetings — spending time gossiping at work.
Other ways to be seen as unprofessional? Treat people with disrespect. Keep them waiting unnecessarily. Steal their thunder by using their ideas without giving them credit. Say one thing, then do the complete opposite. Break promises regularly.
10 Ways To Be Professional
Acting like a professional means doing what it takes to make others think of you as reliable, respectful, and competent. Depending on where you work and the type of job you have, this can take on many different forms.
There are, however, quite a few common traits when it comes to being professional. This includes the following:
1. Competence. You’re good at what you do – and you have the skills and knowledge that enable you to do your job well.
2. Reliability. People can depend on you to show up on time, submit your work when it’s supposed to be ready, etc.
3. Honesty. You tell the truth and are upfront about where things stand.
4. Integrity. You are known for your consistent principles.
5. Respect For Others. Treating all people like they matter is part of your approach.
6. Self-Upgrading. Rather than letting your skills or knowledge become outdated, you seek out ways of staying current.
7. Being Positive. No one likes a constant pessimist. Having an upbeat attitude and trying to be a problem-solver makes a big difference.
8. Supporting Others. You share the spotlight with colleagues, take time to show others how to do things properly, and lend an ear when necessary.
9. Staying Work-Focused. Not letting your private life needlessly have an impact on your job, and not spending time at work attending to personal matters.
10. Listening Carefully. People want to be heard, so you give people a chance to explain their ideas adequately.
The Professional Advantage
The more you put into practice the 10 points listed above, the better your chances will be to create a positive reputation for yourself. This can ultimately translate into raises and promotions, opportunities to work on more assignments that you enjoy, less likelihood of being downsized when layoffs are being considered, and the respect of peers and senior management.
You also benefit from feelings of increased self-worth and dignity. Plus, you keep yourself marketable for the future — all in all, some excellent reasons to as professional as possible.