Being a professional and well-respected member of the workplace is something we all strive to achieve. More often than not though, one can easily name someone in their team who they would consider to be unprofessional at times. Professionalism is something which applies in every single workplace; whether you’re a business executive or in hospitality – key factors such as being punctual and well presented will never be overlooked. If you are wondering how you can become more professional in your workplace, look to regularly reflect on the following four tips.
1. Punctuality is key
Whether it’s a team meeting, your arrival time at work or a project deadline – ensuring you are on time and punctual is key to becoming more professional. Working towards a deadline is common and therefore considered a basic component of professionalism. If punctuality isn’t your best skill, you must make it a priority and work towards bettering your time management. No matter what career path you are in, no one likes having their time wasted, therefore you must always arrive slightly before, or directly on time in order to uphold your professional reputation.
2. Uphold your integrity
In every workplace, there is the token employee who will say exactly what the boss wants to hear, but will not fulfill the commitments. Alternatively, they will tell the boss lies in order to look good, when really they haven’t completed their work. Integrity is a crucial part of professionalism – it includes telling the truth and being accountable for your actions. It is also important to uphold integrity when communicating with others outside of your own workplace. If you are known to badmouth competitors or criticise their work, your reputation will definitely suffer over time.
3. Consider your appearance at all times
Whilst many workplaces have ‘casual Friday’, this does not mean you can wear shorts and thongs in place of your suit or tailored skirt. When given the opportunity, some people drop their standards when it comes to professionally dressing and presenting themselves. Even if you have a slightly less formal meeting or day at work, make sure you still consider the importance of upholding your appearance. A professional appearance encompasses the way you dress, do your hair, and groom yourself. If your appearance has been a topic of conversation with your manager in the past, ensure you pay particular attention to it and demonstrate that you truly are more professional than they thought.
4. Strive for consistency in your work ethic
There is nothing worse than someone who brings their moods and personal life into the workplace. If you are happy and bubbly one day, then snappy and unpleasant the next, this will be considered very unprofessional. Whilst it is difficult to be happy all of the time, the more professional people will not display their stress in front of the team, and will keep to themselves in more challenging times. One of the keys of professionalism is how you handle yourself under pressure, so if you feel that you are going to be rude or unprofessional to someone, remove yourself from the situation and allow yourself to calm down before returning.
What do you think?
Is professionalism something you pride yourself on, or do you think you need to work towards becoming more professional? I’d love to hear what you do and don’t consider to be professional, and see if together we can add some tips to the above list. Comment your views below and join the conversation. This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.Image: Shutterstock.com
*The Australian Institute of Business (AIB) is Australia’s largest provider of MBAs. Source Ready, B. (2023) Domestic Enrolments Surged During COVID After International Students Locked Out, MBA News. Available at: MBA News.