Professionalism reflects a set of qualities and behaviors exhibited by a person in the workplace
that demonstrate their commitment to deliver high quality and efficiency in a given job. It’s
important to have a professional attitude in the workplace, because not only does it land you the
job, but it allows you to thrive in it. Employers look for key skills, competency, knowledge, and
experience but professionalism is a crucial characteristic for your growth in the workplace. This
growth is reflected in your character, but also in your rank or position because an employee with
a professional attitude becomes reputable, and therefore more dependable.
Ways to Be More Professional
● Be punctual
Showing up on time, whether on regular working hours or business meetings, is one of
the most important aspects of professionalism. Not only does it reflect the skill of time
management, but it also indicates that you honor other people’s time.
Tip: Give yourself a ten minute buffer for every commitment in order to ensure that you
arrive on time.
● Lead with integrity
Engaging in gossip and rumors takes away from your credibility and creates a toxic work
environment. Avoiding office politics helps you focus on doing your job and guards your
reputation as someone who is mindful of others.
Tip: Distance yourself from staff room conversations. When faced with an opportunity to
gossip, subtly divert the attention back to work.
● Honor other people’s boundaries
These boundaries can be boundaries around time, like what time you contact them and
for how long. Make sure that you contact coworkers within working hours or during
appropriate times of the day. It can also be with respect and tone in conversations, how
you deal with one another and communicate when conflicts arise.
Tip: If a piece of information or an issue is minor, communicate it through an email
rather than a scheduled face-to-face meeting.
● Focus on learning from feedback
Professionals take feedback into consideration and always seek improvement. When met
with criticism, they don’t have an attitude of defensiveness and anger but openness and
eagerness to learn.
Tip: If you get negative feedback from a coworker, listen carefully and respond by saying
that you will take it into consideration.
● Keep a notepad/ to do list
Professionals don’t require constant reminders to do their work in order to get it done
because they’re always on top of their tasks. Showing up to business meetings with
a notepad reflects interest and organization.
Tip: Walk with a planner to schedule business meetings and take “minutes of meeting”
that summarize the main points of the discussion.
● Pay attention to the culture of your workplace
The culture of the workplace includes how people in the workplace dress, interact, and
operate. Note how others show up to work so you can take a mental note of how to dress
in the workplace. Ask yourself questions regarding the rules, policies, and regulations.
Are there certain regulations regarding staff rooms? Does the firm have an open-door
policy? The answers to these questions can help you follow the workplace’s etiquette.
- Do I show up on time for work?
- Can my coworkers depend on me to deliver tasks on time?
- Am I respectful of my coworkers’ boundaries?
- How often do I engage in office politics?