What is Professionalism, Really?

The criteria of professionalism varies depending on your field of work which makes it difficult to address why there is no one set way of being the “status-quo” professional. Throughout my undergraduate years, I held many positions that required me to dress and act differently based on the company or service being provided. The spectrum ranged from less casual, business casual to high-end. This led me to my question:

what is professionalism, really?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of professionalism is:

  1. the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.
  2. the following of a profession (as athletics) for gain or livelihood.

What is Professionalism, Really?

Here is a more in-depth breakdown of this list. The best thing to do in a new work setting is:

  • Ask your supervisor about professionalism and how you’re doing.
    • What does professionalism in your work environment consists of?

Instead of assuming, it is best to have a definite answer to ensure that there is no confusion on your part. You should have regular one-on-one scheduled meetings (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) with your supervisor and annual performance reviews. These meetings will give you a real-time review of the work you are doing.

You should have regular one-on-one scheduled meetings with your supervisor and annual performance reviews. Click To Tweet
  • Ask for an employee handbook.

What is better than having your own tangible copy of your job’s 411? You can use it as a resourceful tool to make sure you know how to treat others, how others should treat you in your work place.

  • Make an observation.
    • What do you see in your work place?
    • How do your co-workers dress?
    • How does people conduct business?
    • What are common mannerisms amongst your co-workers?
    • What role does your position play within the company?
Your attitude, dress attire and mannerisms play a key role in your professionalism. Via @theJastalk Click To Tweet

What does professionalism mean to you?

Let’s talk about it on twitter! Tweet me @thejastalk. Have any questions on professional development? Ask them here: 

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