How to Develop Professionalism

“Professionalism is not the job you do; it is how you do it”. Truer words have never been spoken. Many people associate the word “professionalism” to certain professions especially the white collar professions. The image of the fresh –faced executive, briefcase in hand and with a blank, expressionless face easily comes to mind.

Remember professionalism has to do with the way you do your job; your attitude to work. To develop professionalism requires paying attention to a list of things that make up a consummate professional.


  • 1

    Brush up your communication skills

    In the work environment, we rarely work in isolation. Our work depends on others, who depend on us in turn so being able to communicate effectively with our colleagues in the appropriate manner helps to make everyone’s job a little bit easier. Without good communication, you frustrate some else’s job, halt the workflow and create the opportunity for horrendous errors to occur.

  • 2

    Mind your dress sense

    Even if your job does not require formal dress wear, do not take this as an excuse to dress shabbily and wear just about anything to your workplace. The best wear for such situations would be to adopt smart casual wear and strike a balance between formal and informal wear.

  • 3

    Check your behavior

    Certain kinds of behaviors are not to be encouraged in the office setting. You share office space with several people so loud, raucous conversations in the hallways and a host of unpleasant, unwanted behaviors have no place in the office.

    Do not turn yourself into a corporate hermit but understand that your job comes first and if you want people to respect you, you need to respect them first. Even punctuality speaks to your behavior so mindful to show-up to your appointment on time.

  • 4

    Increase your competence

    A big part of professionalism is competence, being good at what you do. Learn all you need to do your job effectively and efficiently. One way to increase and refresh your knowledge base is to share knowledge with your colleagues. This way you ensure that you are always hungry for more knowledge, more information to build yourself instead of content with the little that you know.

    There are many ways to build competence. Be sure to cultivate skills that will give you a professional edge. Whether it is your great negotiation skills, social skills, organizational skills, whatever you can leverage on.

  • 5

    Maintain ethics

    Having moral means doing decent things, in respect to all stakeholders, that means doing right by your colleagues, your employer, your employer’s customers, your employer’s suppliers and any other person connected to you professionally including yourself.

  • 6

    Be formal

    No matter the organizational culture you have at your workplace, do not completely forget to be formal when the need arises. Formality is the default standard of respect, you will usually not be best friends with everyone you meet so formality is your way of putting emotions aside to get the job done.

  • 7

    Think objectively

    Remove emotions from the equation and create a sense of objectivity when taking decisions in the workplace. This does not mean you should develop a cold and bitter exterior in your work relationships rather it means you should guard against making decisions on a whim especially if you have little experience in that particular area.

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