What Are the Characteristics of Professionalism?

What Are the Characteristics of Professionalism?

by K.A. Francis

There is more to exhibiting professionalism than wearing a suit to work.
 

Professionalism has no simple definition. What one company considers unprofessional is completely acceptable to another. However, professionalism is considered an important trait that all employees should possess. York College of Pennsylvania conducted a survey with 520 human resource personnel and business leaders. Sixty percent stated they base hiring decisions on perceived professional traits of the candidates. The traits may vary from one profession or company to another, but there are several that carry over.

Honesty

No one wants to work with an untrustworthy person. Lying about a situation, no matter how small, will turn what could have been a small problem with an easy solution into a large problem with lasting ramifications.

Respect and Courtesy

Sometimes it is the small things that make the biggest difference. Letting a person finish speaking without interruption, saying please and thank you and taking criticism and advice without an outward show of disdain are examples of being courteous and showing respect. An employee does not have to like or agree with what a supervisor said, but a courteous and respectful employee will listen before offering comments or rebuttals.

Work Ethic

Professionalism means sticking with something until the job is completed. People with a strong work ethic are considered to be professional when they stay on track and see projects through to their conclusions.

Communication

Whether you are working alone or in a team environment, communication is vital to achieving goals. Working alone, you must keep your supervisor apprised; as part of a team, you must communicate with one another to ensure you are all focused toward the same ends. The ability to communicate effectively is a strong sign of professionalism.