‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.’
Professionalism is defined as ‘the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterise or mark a profession or a professional person’ (Merriam Webster dictionary). It’s about adhering to professional etiquette and ethics. It’s about you as a person rather than the position you are employed in. Your professionalism is judged by the way you behave and interact with colleagues and clients, whether you dress and present appropriately, your work ethic and level of competence, your communication skills, and your ability to accept personal responsibility for decisions and actions. Your professionalism can have a long lasting effect on your career.
7 ways to boost your professionalism
1. Work well with others and treat people at all levels with respect and dignity.
2. Show appreciation for help and meet your commitments.
3. Arrive on time to meetings and appointments.
4. Conduct personal business during your breaks and avoid using the internet to pursue personal interests at work.
5. Avoid using profanities and slang.
6. Dress appropriately.
7. Avoid getting involved in office politics.
You can start building your professional profile in your workplace by getting involved and taking advantages of opportunities. By letting people know who you are, what you are interested in, and through volunteering to do extra tasks, you can be seen as someone who is enthusiastic and a good team player.
‘You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.’