Monday, December 12, 2011

Tip #356: Understanding "Professionalism" In The Business World

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.

Understanding the nature of professionalism and how it influences team dynamics is part of the fabric at Dale Carnegie Training, so we decided to change things up a bit from our usual routine and explore this topic more thoroughly.

At Its Core, Professionalism Is How You Conduct Yourself.

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 fanciest, most 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 oftentimes meticulous about their work. Professionals hold themselves to a certain set of standards they always seek to maintain.

Forget The Glitz And Glam, But Don't Ignore It.

As we mentioned earlier, creating the illusion of professionalism is just that -- an illusion. But that does not necessarily mean you shouldn't dress for success - something that varies from business to business and industry to industry. 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.

For Professionals, Work Comes First.

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 their 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.

Executive Summary: 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. It is a lot deeper. The point is, professionalism is about your image, work ethics and convictions. Period.

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