Professionalism is one of those things that people are aware of during the interview process (most of the time), but forget about after they begin a new position. With so many people in the job market, people might be inclined to simply say what they think the potential employer wants to hear during the interview process. However, if they get the job, they will have a hard time making it a great fit. So many young professionals may think that details don’t matter when it comes to being on time, not spreading office gossip, dress code, not complaining, sick days, etc. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that today’s young professionals rarely stay at a position for very long.
In order to make a job a truly great career, professionalism has to be in the forefront. It has to be so instilled into your habits that other people can simply take a quick glance at your demeanor and know that you are going places. If you have a customer facing position, your clients/customers have to feel like they are on a level playing field when they speak with you. When dealing with coworkers and bosses, there has to be a hint of humility, a large dose of understanding, and a heavy amount of communicating thoughts and ideas non-offensively. Everything you do has to have professionalism written all over it if you ever hope to advance within a company.
The Importance of Professionalism in Your Road to Success
Obviously, this is a lot easier said than done for some people. For others, it’s a no-brainer. You might be thinking, ‘Of course I would never call in sick my first week on the job.’ Well, if that’s the case, you should probably picture yourself in a management position. If you are thinking, ‘What’s wrong with being just a few minutes late occasionally?’ then you should probably figure out what your long-term goals are and how your daily actions might be out of alignment with them. When it comes to minor attendance/dress code issues with professionalism, just remember that it is YOUR choice. When you are hired for a position, you know the rules of the game. You can’t just decide not to follow them after the game has started.
When it comes to interacting with people, whether it be customers or coworkers, just treat other people as you think THEY would want to be treated. Both you and I have different thresholds for verbal abuse and awkwardness. So, the ‘golden rule’ may not apply in all situations. Instead, be nice to people and treat people well. It doesn’t ALWAYS help – since other people may be on a mission to make it difficult to work with them – but it will never HURT.
When you interview for your next position, be sure that you are willing to exude professionalism in all areas – not just during the interview. This in itself (like anything else) can’t guarantee your success in any company, but it is a major component. With professionalism, you’ve got a shot. Without it, you don’t.
At Fire Inc (Atlanta, GA), both professionalism and integrity are the cornerstones of our business. To view more on these topics, visit our website here.