Being successful in your career definitely requires a professional aptitude and that is a no brainer for people. But what does being professional actually mean?
For many, the word professional brings to their minds an image of a well-dressed individual sitting with an air of panache at their well-decorated office desk, peering over a large computer screen decorated with post-its that look very important. They should have a table decorated with a small Zen garden (because that’s supposed to help them with stress-relief!), and a few pictures of family and friends because even staying away from them for 8 hours makes them miss those faces dearly, yet when home they only peer at their smart phone screens instead of those lovely faces!
A professional bloke should also have a large mug of espresso in their hands that they slurp gently while occasionally typing on their keyboards.
While for others, being professional could mean having a degree with annotations longer than their very name, certificates of achievements hung around their office walls, a grim look on their faces where they should always look internally angry or mildly irritated (even when really happy within) and always rushing to not have any time for social interactions (those who only give you a New York minute for an appointment).
In a way professionalism encompasses all of these things, yet it is much more than that. Here is why we think professionalism is important and why it matters for the working class. Also the prospect of being perfectly professional in your day-to-day job role not only sounds difficult but also sounds somewhat cruel.
Let us explore professionalism with this post and understand how you can be perfectly professional yet still approachable at your workplace.
Dress to impress:
Once I watched this 80s Hollywood movie, where a boss tells his employee that you should dress for not the job you have, but the job you want. So, do you really want the job of the office mail boy? All companies have a dress code and it may differ for men and women and from one company to another. But to be perfectly professional we suggest you dress above the dress code. Here’s what we mean by that…
For instance, if your company asks you to dress in a collared shirt with formal pants, we recommend you wear a pair of suit pants and a dress shirt. This meets the criteria but is also a little more professional. Also you could further take it up a notch by adding a suit jacket. This will help people standout in a crowd within the office, but also in a positive way. A well-dressed employee shows that they are professional and they respect the company they work for.
Unless your workplace has a very artistic bohemian environment, this should be the rule of thumb when it comes to professional dressing.
Stay longer than the minimum hours:
All offices come with a minimum working hour’s timeline. This is the time by which you should get to work and the time after which you can leave your work. A great way to improve your professionalism is to stay longer than those designated working hours.
But the commitments outside of your work should not take a hit due to this. While we do not mean to say that you must work for more than 12 hours every day, but adding 30 minutes or more once in awhile will make you seem more dedicated and passionate about your work.
Also leaving after the required time and arriving early will also make others see that you’re not watching the clock and are trying to improve on your work.
Speak professionalism with the right attitude:
There is much to professionalism than just arriving on time and dressing right. It is also as much about how you act, what you say and the actions you take that can define professional behaviour within the office.
This means that you must restraint what you think and what you say with careful consideration of the office environment. It is best to keep offensive jokes and stories of you drinking too much within yourself. Also maintain all your focus and energy on your work while you’re at the office this will propagate an air of professionalism about you.
Use a proper email signature:
Email is elemental in our jobs. If used correctly, email is also the best form of communication. And every email has a signature at the bottom. It is highly recommendable that you set up an effective email signature for your office email.
This should include your name, job title, company name, and contact details, such as phone number and email address. Avoid putting anything else in your email signature, like an inspirational quote or a funny line.
Hopefully these tips will be helpful for upcoming managers for practising professionalism.
For more such interesting tips, news and articles on leadership, management studies and MBA assignments stay tuned to our regular posts at Management Writing Solutions and enjoy your college life free from stress.