Monday, May 8, 2017

The Importance of Professionalism

Whether you’re working your very first job or you’re a seasoned industry veteran, one of the most important characteristics you can develop is professionalism. Even now, when younger workspaces are pushing towards more relaxed and open atmospheres, professionalism is still an important trait to possess. It helps you best display yourself and your abilities while putting your best foot forward, and can extend to the work you do as well. Here are just a few of the reasons why professionalism is important, especially in the workplace.
  • It will help your reputation and the reputation of your company.
    • No matter where you’re employed, you’re a representative of the company you work for, whether you’re dealing directly with clients or simply discussing the company at a bar. The way that you represent the business is how people will perceive it; if you address your occupation professionally, people will see you as a professional and, by extension, see the professional quality of individuals who work for the company. It’s a win for everyone’s reputation.
  • It will promote an atmosphere of accountability.
    • When something goes wrong or a mistake happens, one of the least professional behaviors you can demonstrate is playing the blame game and pointing fingers. The mistake has already been made, so trying to shift the blame only makes you look bad. However, if everyone steps up and takes accountability for his or her own actions, the focus is shifted from who’s to blame to how the mistake can be rectified.

  • It will help you advance your career.
    • People who don’t take their work seriously and are unprofessional in their behavior are not people who get promoted because they are not people who work towards promotions. Professionalism, on top of a great work ethic and dedication, is what will help drive you to the top, by demonstrating that you care about the job and will do it well and with tact.
  • It will encourage a professional environment overall.
    • In 1982, James Wilson and George Kelling introduced the Broken Window Theory: in essence, houses with broken windows are more likely to attract future vandalism and criminals because there is damage already present. To put this in workplace terms, if one person acts blatantly unprofessionally, others will be more likely to follow suit until no one is acting professionally. However, if you promote the idea of professionalism from the start and keep it ingrained as a company value, people will be more likely to maintain a professional environment.