The Oxford dictionary defines a professional as: “A person competent or skilled in a particular activity” while professionalism is defined as: “The competence or skill expected of a professional”
That summarizes my post today.
Professionalism is simply put: the ethics of every profession. It means a person is an expert in performing everyday tasks relating to his/her profession.
Professionalism has got little or nothing to do with skill and abilities. Professionalism, if a skill at all, is a soft skill. You either have it or you don’t.
Sadly most ‘professionals’ do not display signs of professionalism. Pride and Arrogance have replaced the definition of professionalism.
Below are a few traits common with professionals. I will start with the easy ones 😉
1. Competence: You know your job and you do it well. Take note that not everyone knows what their job is…whether or not they read their job description.
2. Self Development: No professional wants to be caught with their pants down. Caught without their facts. As a professional, you need to know your stuff. Desire knowledge. Get wisdom and in all you are getting, get understanding.
3. Reliability: Can your team depend on you to show up on time, submit your work on time, e.t.c. Kunle Olaifa, HR Manager- Samsung West Africa, recently said: ‘The market women at Alade market in Ikeja area of Lagos State, are more professional than most ‘professionals’. You will always meet them at their stalls at the right time; If they tell you a particular product would be available by the next day, you can take their word to the bank. If It won’t be available, they would let you know when next to check back. They go to great lengths to ensure customer satisfaction.
4.Honesty: Say things as they are. Be up-front. Do not sugar-coat the truth.
5. Integrity: Known for consistently keeping to set principles and ethics.
6. Respect and support to others: Treat people the way you would like to be treated and be willing to support, help, listen and teach others.
7. Work-Life Balance: Balancing work and personal life is and will always be one of the most difficult things a professional has to deal with. Learning how not to let personal matters interfere with work-related matters and how not to spend work hours attending to personal matters sums this up perfectly. Another aspect of this is taking time rest so that your job is not affected by you experiencing burn-out.
Yes this is a tall-order and the truth is that we will struggle at this…I know I do. But keep at it. Strive to achieve these. The more practice you put into these, the better your chances of achieving a positive reputation among peers, colleagues, subordinates and superiors.
What other traits should be found in professionals? Please share your views and let’s learn from you!