Professionalism is the cornerstone of the business world. But what is professionalism? Is it a certain look or type of behavior? Or is it an attitude or work ethic or something else entirely? The truth is, professionalism is all of these things and more.
Far too many people get wrapped up with the appearance of professionalism—a look, an image, something that is superficial. The truth is, you can put on the most fancy, expensive suit you want but that doesn’t make you a professional. What makes you a professional is the seriousness and sincerity with which you approach your job. Professionals do not cut corners. Professionals are thorough, and often times meticulous about their work. Professionals hold themselves to a certain set of standards they always seek to maintain.
Creating the illusion of professionalism is just that—an illusion. But that does not necessarily mean you shouldn’t dress for success. Some businesses are very liberal about their dress code, allowing employees to come in wearing jeans and tee shirts. But this doesn’t make them any less professional about their work than someone in a suit. However, if the type of industry you are in places importance on image, such as a law firm, then you have to include this in your definition of professionalism.
At the end of the business day, professionals are worried about one thing and one thing only: Their work. The quality of their work reflects on them as an employee. In addition, they know how their work will have an impact on a client, too, as they are aware that clients are the lifeblood of their business. That being said, true professionals are invested in their work so they can meet and exceed everyone’s expectations.
Remember—you can put on the most expensive suit and shoes you own and head off to work, but this will not make you a professional. Professionalism is about your image, work ethics and convictions. Period.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.
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