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10 Ways to be Professional at Work

10 Ways To Be Professional at Work

10 Ways To Be Professional at Work

By the Monster Career Coach

We often hear how important it to behave “professionally” in the workplace. If you want to get ahead, be taken seriously, and have your boss think of you as an asset to the team, doing things in a professional way is vital.

But what exactly do employers mean by this term? Surely it’s enough to do your job well and show up on time consistently. Or are there other things expected of you if you want to be viewed as being professional?

Avoid Being Unprofessional

Your employer may not tell you exactly their own view of what being professional means. But we all know from experience how to get labelled as “unprofessional.” By finishing tasks or projects late, for instance. Being unprepared when attending meetings. Spending time gossiping at work.

Other ways to be seen as unprofessional? Treat people with disrespect. Keep them waiting unnecessarily. Steal their thunder by using their ideas without giving them credit. Say one thing then do the complete opposite. Break promises regularly.

10 Ways To Be Professional

Acting like a professional really means doing what it takes to make others think of you as reliable, respectful, and competent. Depending on where you work and the type of job you have, this can take on many different forms.

There are, however, quite a few common traits when it comes to being professional. This includes the following:

1. Competence. You’re good at what you do – and you have the skills and knowledge that enable you to do your job well.

2. Reliability. People can depend on you to show up on time, submit your work when it’s supposed to be ready, etc.

3. Honesty. You tell the truth and are upfront about where things stand.

4. Integrity. You are known for your consistent principles.

5. Respect For Others. Treating all people as if they mattered is part of your approach.

6. Self-Upgrading. Rather than letting your skills or knowledge become outdated, you seek out ways of staying current.

7. Being Positive. No one likes a constant pessimist. Having an upbeat attitude and trying to be a problem-solver makes a big difference.

8. Supporting Others. You share the spotlight with colleagues, take time to show others how to do things properly, and lend an ear when necessary.

9. Staying Work-Focused. Not letting your private life needlessly have an impact on your job, and not spending time at work attending to personal matters.

10. Listening Carefully. People want to be heard, so you give people a chance to explain their ideas properly.

The more you put into practice the 10 points listed above, the better your chances will be to create a positive reputation for yourself. This can ultimately translate into raises and promotions, chances to work on more assignments that you enjoy, less likelihood of being downsized when layoffs are being considered, and the respect of peers and senior management.

You also benefit from feelings of increased self-worth and dignity. Plus you keep yourself marketable for the future. All in all, some very good reasons to as professional as possible.

How to Become More Professional in the Workplace

How to Become More Professional in the Workplace

by Janice Tingum

Employees will take their cues about the business's stability from you.

A professional has high ethical standards and displays integrity and excellence in his work and helps advance the business or industry in which he is employed. Becoming more professional at work begins with having a positive attitude toward your job. Aim to demonstrate hard work, dedication and leadership. Find ways to network with others in the field and keep informed on new developments affecting your job. As you take steps to become more professional in the workplace, you may also find greater job satisfaction.

1. Have a professional attitude. Be supportive of your boss and co-workers. Don’t gossip about them behind their backs. Show that you are dedicated to the company by arriving at work promptly and staying until quitting time. Put in extra time when it is required without grumbling. Be respectful of your co-workers by not using their supplies or work areas without permission and by not taking up their time unnecessarily. Cheerfully give credit to others for their accomplishments.

2. Demonstrate professional maturity. Do your work with excellence. Accept responsibility for your mistakes. If you have made an error, don’t shift the blame to anyone or anything else. Own up to the problem and offer to solve it. Learn to anticipate problems before they arise so that you can avoid them. Avoid petty interoffice bickering. Don’t discuss your personal matters at the office. Instruct family and friends to not call or email you at work unless it is an emergency. Eliminate distractions, such as a radio, computer games or snacks on your desk.

3. Dress professionally. Choose modest, conservative clothing that reflects the more formal end of the attire accepted at your workplace. In an office setting, for example, casual attire may be acceptable, but a business suit or dress indicates that you are there to do business, not relax. Wear conservative dress shoes and walk with confidence. Upgrade a backpack, bag or large purse to a briefcase.

4. Manage your time and work space professionally. Create a calendar on your desk or computer to note appointments and deadlines. Check the calendar regularly so that you stay on schedule with meetings and tasks. If you feel overwhelmed by the demands of phone and email messages, designate a specific time slot each morning and afternoon to review the messages and respond to them. Organize your work area so that you can readily find the files or materials that you need. Use space-saving and step-saving storage solutions to be more efficient.

5. Be a leader in your profession. Offer to make presentations, head up committees or become a liaison to a professional society. Stay current with changes in your profession through seminars and professional publications. Share the information you have learned with your co-workers. Take risks and demonstrate that you are a problem-solver by agreeing to take on difficult tasks.

6. Communicate in a professional manner. Maintain eye contact and practice a solid handshake. Enunciate clearly. Listen attentively to others. Remain poised if others challenge your ideas. If you are uncomfortable speaking in public, join a Toastmasters chapter near you to gain practice.