Professionalism is essential to growing a successful career. Learning how to present yourself as a professional in how you think, speak, and act will get you far in your career.
And we’re going to let you know how to do just that.
In this article, you will find seven of the best ways to develop professionalism and put it into practice. Pay close attention so you can become the seasoned professional you’ve always wanted to be.
1. Start Learning Early
Congratulations! You’re on the right track if you strive to learn professionalism early.
Making an effort to learn will only help you maintain your professionalism. Don’t wait until you’re pulling up for your first day on the job.
Start learning now!
Once on the job, take the initiative to learn what professionalism means to those in elevated positions. Learn from the beginning what’s expected of you, so you don’t cross into unprofessional territory.
Ask questions if you’re unsure about anything.
That’s how you learn!
As you learn more and more, make sure you always take the advice given to you. Show that you’re capable of always acting professional and being responsible for yourself.
2. Practice Positivity
Head into every single day with a positive, can-do attitude.
Attitude is everything.
What seems more professional to you?
Someone who approaches a tricky problem knowing they’ll find a solution. They get right to work, figuring out possible ways to solve the issue without letting it get them down.
Someone who gets handed a problem and immediately sighs and shakes their head. They let the issue change their attitude so that they look visibly stressed. They complain about the complexity of it to coworkers and even say they don’t know how to fix it.
You cannot allow stress to change your attitude. Thinking positively at work will look professional and help you get things done.
If you do have complaints, turn them into requests.
Don’t walk around moaning about the things you don’t like. Find a way to change or fix them. Make polite requests (never demands) of your coworkers or your boss.
Your professional attitude is sure to be remembered.
3. Dress for Success
Outside of how you act, you also need to look like a professional.
You know the saying, but it certainly bears repeating. Dress to suit the career you want, not the one you have.
People make up their minds pretty fast upon meeting you. This impression will have a lot to do with the way you look. An excellent first impression is vital to appear professional, even to strangers.
Keep yourself neat, clean, and well-attired every day, so you always project the right image.
4. Be Punctual and Productive
As a budding professional, know how to manage your time efficiently.
Make sure you show up to work and meetings on time. Nothing screams unprofessional louder than being late, especially if your only excuse is you lost track of time.
It’s best if you use your time wisely. Time is money.
While you’re at work, use your time productively. Don’t get distracted by anything you can do later. You shouldn’t be on your phone while you’re at work unless it actually has to do with a work-related task.
Respect deadlines and get all your work done promptly.
Chances are, people are counting on you to do your job so they can do theirs.
5. Adapt to Problems
Being adaptable goes along with that whole positivity thing.
Problems are a natural part of any work environment. But you’re a professional problem-solver, and you’re not going to let them get on top of you.
Keep composed when unexpected problems arise.
Instead of going to your superiors to ask for help, try working things out for yourself. You don’t have to solve the problem. But you should come up with one or two possible solutions you think could fix things.
Bringing your boss potential solutions to the problem shows you’re a professional.
6. Communicate Effectively
Communication is the key to forming strong, professional relationships,
Upon meeting someone new, make sure you shake their hand and make eye contact.
Practice talking without using filler words such as “like” or “um.” Filler words are a way to fill the silence between thoughts, replacing a single breath. They convey nerves and make it seem like you’re not confident in what you’re saying.
This goes for written as well as verbal communication. Communicating professionally through email is just as important today.
Keep an eye on the language you use when writing professional emails. It’s easy to read negativity into something typed, even if it wasn’t meant that way.
If you think your email can be considered negative, it probably will be. You should consider a little tweaking,
Always personalize every email as well. Using a template may be easy, but it doesn’t make people feel like you care about their business. Make the effort to write your emails for the person they’re being sent to.
It makes all the difference in the world.
7. Take Accountability
Don’t ever let yourself slip on your principles.
You have to be accountable for every single thing you say and do in the professional world. If you do something incorrect, take responsibility for it and admit that you were wrong.
Use feedback to better yourself. There is always time and space to develop and grow your professionalism.
Being accountable makes it clear that you’ll always do what you’re supposed to do, thoroughly and on time. It means you’re a responsible person who people can rely on.
Presenting yourself as a professional takes work. It’s an attitude you have to commit to every day so that everyone around you knows you’re a professional.
It’s a great thing to have expected of you.
These seven ideas will help you develop your professionalism. And you can put them into practice from day one. Just don’t forget to continue to grow that professionalism as you continue to learn.
Caitlin Sinclair is the Business Manager at Anson. With over 5 years of property management experience, she begins and ends each day loving what she does. She finds joy in helping current and future residents and makes Anson a place everyone loves to call home.