We have seen this word repeated many times in the workplace or generally spoken as a term – “behave like a professional” but then have we given any thought why is this characterisation given so much importance irrespective of it providing no tangible outcomes. Professionalism is deemed as an act which is expected to be performed in any environment where people meet together for a common purpose. But for some practicing professionalism could mean dressing smartly or in a chic manner for work, showcasing their academic certifications – external attributes and for some it could mean just being at their best behaviour and doing a great job – a bit of internalisation. In short it gives you an idea of how people perceive or you want to be perceived. It’s not totally false that first impressions do count a lot and acting as a professional in your domain will help you to achieve your goals partly. People might not know what the actual meaning of the word is but by their cheer judgement they’ll pass a comment – “Oh that person’s seems a professional”.
So if it’s so important why isn’t it taught in graduate schools or at any level of an individual’s academic tenure? Yes, you got it right, it needs to be learnt by oneself and is an undertone like many other characteristics.
Accountability and Responsibility
These are two attributes which are easier said than done. We all know how difficult it is to live up to our commitments and projects and taking responsibility and accountability for it. Professionals hold themselves accountable for their vision, ideas, words and action and it can counted on them to take the responsibility for the mistakes they might’ve committed. Everyone likes to see individuals who can do their work and also stand up for themselves and their acquaintances in time of adversities.
Competency and Efficiency
Professionals know how to get the work done. Some have it in them and others gain it through practice but in any environment everyone wants people to whom something have to be said once and the work is accomplished appropriately. They try to make not too many excuses and focus on finding solutions. They try their best to put their best foot forward so that the outcomes are in their favour and have control of the situation. The competency of a person can be seen in the efficiency of their work.
Professionals like to show muted expressions and emotions by which they like to depict that they are in control. For example, imagine a manager has to take an important business decision which has very high risk and has provide it soon. Instead of getting upset or hyped up in emotion or showing it facially that she is stressed, the manager exhibits true professionalism by maintaining a calm, business-like demeanour, and by doing everything that she can to make the situation right and reach at a plausible decision. Honest and authentic professionals show respect for the people around them, no matter what their role or situation. They exhibit a high degree of emotional intelligence (EI) by considering the emotions and needs of others, try to keep a communicable and conducive environment for everyone to function.
A professional will always remain true and authentic towards his values, there is definitely rom for change and improvement but he knows what he wants and aims to achieve and works accordingly. Professionals have a clear vision and they are always self-aware and keep a check on their intelligence and emotional quotient. They know there is no escaping from failures and obstacles but they also know there is teaching in every hassle and they try to be more efficient and productive in everything that they do. They don’t live in a dream world where people hope everything will happen according to their own will but they know that the universe will not stop and will continue doing its own routine and so should we and not try to control that is not in our power.
It’s not necessary that everyone should adapt themselves and try becoming a professional, it should be taken as a way of life and a view of how people perceive you and how you perceive your own self.