Career Development

Why Professionalism Is Important in Every Aspect of Work

February 22, 2021

Even though it may not be listed as a key skill or competency on a job description, professionalism is an important characteristic to demonstrate in any interview and every day of work. Showing professionalism can make way for new opportunities while a lack of professionalism can create barriers to your growth. There are ways you can demonstrate professional behavior and things you can do to improve your professionalism. In this article, we look at why professionalism is so important, how you can show it, and how to improve on it.

Why professionalism is important

Professionalism is a measure of how well you carry yourself at work, how you treat coworkers and how you handle stressful situations. Because of this, it's easy to see why professionalism is so important in the workplace. Here are five reasons why professionalism is important.

1. Professionalism helps you get the job

If you're currently interviewing for positions, you'll want to make sure you're projecting a professional attitude and demeanor. While you may have all the skills required for a position, if the group you're interviewing with notices you seem uninterested, they're more likely to choose another candidate. You can carry professionalism to your interview by being a little early, focusing on who is speaking and always giving examples to back up your answers.

2. Professionalism helps you get recognized

If an opportunity for a promotion presents itself at work, and you are eligible, you may be competing with other candidates for the position. You will give yourself an advantage if you've demonstrated your professionalism to your superiors. Handling more responsibility and tackling bigger challenges will require more professionalism.

3. It Shows you're dependable

Carrying yourself in a professional way at work shows your supervisor that they can depend on you.

4. You'll earn more respect

By showing professional behavior at work, you'll earn more respect from your colleagues. Listening to and respecting others' ideas is a great way to demonstrate this and to be a contributor to your employer's success.

5. You'll be more approachable

A good measure of how professional you are is how approachable you are to other colleagues. Keeping personal drama out of the workplace makes you more professional and more approachable. Having a professional attitude when solving problems can reduce conflict and unnecessary stress.

5 Ways to show professionalism

Now we've established why professionalism is important to both individuals and the companies they work for. Let's take a look at how you can exude professionalism in the workplace.

1. Dress appropriately

Casual attire in the workplace is appropriate in some settings. However, make sure to dress how you want to be treated. If you want to command more respect from your colleagues, a weekday wardrobe that features plenty of business casual attire is a great approach.

2. Practice your communication skills

Being able to communicate with your colleagues is essential. Having good communication, listening and critical thinking skills are all important parts of acting in a professional way. When you're able to listen to other's ideas and present your own in a convincing way, you're setting your employer and yourself up for success.

3. Attend training and trade shows

Another great way to demonstrate professionalism is to take the initiative to develop your career further. See if your employer offers programs for extended education or will cover the cost to attend a trade show related to your field or your employer's industry. Adding to your skill base adds to the company's skill base as well.

4. Show accountability

One true sign of a leader and a professional is being able to show accountability for mistakes. If you ever find yourself in a position to take accountability for a mistake you made, take it, and be sure to follow it up with what can be done to improve the current process that will prevent that mistake from happening again. You don't have control over how your colleagues handle their mistakes, but you are in control of your own.

5. Remain calm under stress

There's not much more inspiring to the people around you than showing how calm you can be while a storm of deadlines, pressures and ever-increasing demands swirl around your department. These are the times to rely on your ability to be a leader and demonstrate professionalism.

How to improve your image as a professional

The importance of professionalism and the importance of your image go hand-in-hand. There are three other ways you can boost your image as a professional.

1. Keep your social media presence clean

Avoid posting things on social media that you wouldn't want your employer to see. Potential employers may discover social media information while conducting pre-employment screenings .

2. Understand your limitations and deliver on time

One mark of a professional is someone who can look at a task, foresee potential delays and set a realistic deadline. The second part is hitting that deadline. Being able to communicate how long a project will really take will also help prevent unrealistic deadlines from being set in the future.

3. Always grow your network

As careful as you must be with your social media presence, you must be equally diligent in growing your professional network. As you make new connections in the working world, make sure you add them to your LinkedIn, or at very least, grab their business card.

It may sound obvious that you should strive to be professional at all times at the workplace, but it can be more difficult to understand what it actually takes to do so. Focus on a few of the tips above and you may see yourself growing in your career field sooner than you thought.

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