Professionalism is a word that’s often used but very rarely defined. Codes of conduct in each workplace differ depending on the formality or casualness of each company, but professionalism is a common thread that is expected no matter where you work.
Here are the top 4 ways that you can show professionalism, even at the most informal of jobs.
#1: Communicate Clearly
Your good (or poor) communication is among the first things that your coworkers will notice about you. Good communicators contribute positively to company culture and make others feel like they can be trusted.
Good communication means making every interaction with a person, both inside and outside your company, a positive experience. Respond to emails in a timely manner. Double-check each document for grammatical errors. Be transparent about your workload and progress on your ongoing projects. Communicating often, even if it seems extraneous, will help build a stronger connection between your work and that of others.
#2: Be Respectful
Many people allow their emotions to get the better of them while at work. Instead, in every situation, even difficult ones, show your coworkers, your boss, and your clients respect.
This means staying calm in tense conversations, using respectful terms, and treating others the way you want to be treated. Remember that everyone has a job to do, and those jobs are important parts of your workplace.
#3: Stay Positive
Professionalism is easy when things are going well, but true professionals stay composed even when times are tough. Complaining and putting down others’ opinions are not productive methods of working together.
Instead, when someone offers an idea you don’t like or something goes wrong, look on the bright side. Treat that person’s idea as legitimate, but don’t feel obligated to accept it. Make the best of an unfortunate circumstance. Even if others react negatively, keeping your attitude positive will help you and your team work better together.
#4: Maintain a High Standard
It’s no secret that sometimes, people don’t do the work for which they were hired. People can be afraid to ask for help, or sometimes are simply too lazy to get the job done.
To show your professionalism, you should know exactly what your responsibilities are and complete them when and how they should be completed. If you’re unclear about your job role, you should talk to your boss to clear up your confusion, and then follow up with him or her after you’ve completed your tasks to make sure you’re on the right track.
Seeking valuable feedback can be scary, as none of us like to be judged on our success or failure, but doing so shows maturity as a professional and can set you apart from others.
Every time you go into a new workplace, the culture may look different, but these 4 ways of showing professionalism will always be helpful. Keep these in mind and let them guide your work days, and you’ll notice that others treat you with professionalism in return.
If you’d like to work further on this topic, our workshop focuses on showing professionalism, as well as a variety of other career growth tips and tactics that you can use throughout your professional life. You can look into our workshops here. Good luck on your journey to professionalism!