By Mathilde Segonds
We often hear how important it is to act professionally at work. If you want to be promoted, taken seriously and considered an asset to the team by your boss, it is essential to do things professionally.
But what do employers really mean? Is it not enough to do one’s job well and always arrive on time? Or are there other things expected of a “professional”?
You know that being a professional will probably be the key to your success, or at least part of it. Well, but what does it mean to be professional? For some, it will be to respect codes, clothing or driving for example, or to strive to provide a conscientious work and quality. For others, professionalism refers more to a level of qualification or a degree of skill. Between know-how and how to be, how is professionalism measured? What are the tools to evaluate it? Are these criteria all objectives? Professionalism necessarily includes a part of feeling. And so, everyone will go out of his subjectivity to judge an employee, colleague or provider as professional or not.
But the subjective has the limits of the individual, limits to which the definition of professionalism cannot and should not be restricted. If the definitions of dictionaries seem unsatisfactory and somewhat vague (“Quality of a person who performs an activity as an experienced professional” or “Quality of someone who practices a profession with a great profession”), is that it is perhaps simply difficult to give a generic, and that would meet all the expectations of all professions. Thus, professionalism, although concretized by a way of being at work, a behavior, is undoubtedly, and above all, a matter of relationship: relation to its activity but also relation to others and, consequently, relation to oneself.
Professionalism or efficiency?
Does one go without the other? Can we be effective without being professional and vice versa? One can easily imagine that one can be effective without being professional, that is to say not to gather all the criteria establishing someone as professional if indeed these criteria are clearly posed. One can be effective in one’s work without respecting the rules of cordiality or decorum, for example.
The United Nations Careers page gives us insight into the notion of professionalism (in fact, its own definition) as one of the three pillars of the organization. Thus, “professionalism” would mean “working with dedication”, “being conscientious and effective” and “getting results”. It is also specialized in one area (“showing competence”) and knowing “to present oneself in the best light” in all circumstances, to show that one “likes one’s work” and that one is “proud of it” “.
Efficiency would be one of the criteria of professionalism, and it would go well beyond that. It is, therefore, a relationship to his work in the first place (having the right skills, the skills of a specialization, being productive but also loving and being proud of it), as well as his employers. ‘to its customers (to work conscientiously, with dedication, to present oneself in its best light). We can not then reduce professionalism to efficiency, but it would seem foolish to talk about professionalism without mentioning the conditions of effectiveness.
On the tracks of professionalism
After agreeing that no definition of the notion of professionalism is necessary since it is often a question of attitude. But it is also possible to identify what could be called “attributes” to better understand the ability to react in a professional manner.
Be responsible: Being professional means having a sense of responsibility and being able to answer for your words, your thoughts and your actions, especially when you have made a mistake. This notion of personal responsibility is very closely linked to those of honesty and integrity, solid proof of professionalism.
To be master of oneself: to be professional is to know how to remain so even under pressure. Take the example of an after-sales service. Faced with a dissatisfied and irritable customer, professionalism requires keeping calm and doing everything possible to provide a solution without giving in to the impulsiveness of anger. A true professional remains respectful to people around him, regardless of their role or context. In addition, there is usually a strong capacity for emotional intelligence: knowing how to take into account the emotions and needs of others and not to impact one’s relationships with others even in the event of inconvenience.
Look after yourself: being professional is also being impeccable and clean. He would not come to the idea of a professional to dress or carelessly comb his hair. It is also the condition that leads others to trust.
Whatever the case may be, your professionalism is such a business card: you define it and embellish it with what you think is important. And, in any case, whether it’s about your business card or your professionalism, the first impression you leave will be decisive.
So according to the internet here is a small summary of tips for acting professionally:
The competence. You excel in what you do and have the skills and knowledge to do a good job.
Reliability. We can count on you to arrive on time, to deliver work within the prescribed time, etc.
Honesty. You tell the truth and always give the right time.
Integrity. You have a reputation for always following your principles.
The respect for others. You treat people as if they really matter to you.
The upgrade. Rather than letting your skills and knowledge lapse, you are looking for ways to stay up to date.
Positivism Nobody likes the notorious pessimists. Showing a positive attitude and trying to solve problems make all the difference.
The support of others. You share the stage with your colleagues, you take the time to show them how to do things right and you listen to them as needed.
Focus on work You do not allow your privacy to unnecessarily affect your work and you do not spend time at work doing personal things.
Active listening. People want to be heard, so give them a chance to express their ideas clearly.
The more you put into practice these elements, the better your chances of building an excellent reputation. You also feel increased self-esteem and dignity. Not to mention that you improve your career prospects. In short, these are all very good reasons to display as much as possible a professional attitude.
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