You’ve heard time and time again how vital it is to be professional in the workplace.
But what does that mean exactly?
Sure, you’re showing up and getting the job done. Arriving at work on time and doing your job is excellent — but there’s more to it than that.
Companies like employees who not only “show up” but are willing to go the extra mile. That means you should effectively communicate and pay attention to your boss’s needs.
You can convey competence in a variety of ways. We will cover seven approaches you can practice professionalism in this article.
Being professional leads to career growth, so always keep that in mind.
1. Offer Support
If a lot is going on at your company, why not pitch in and help?
Assisting your boss and co-workers with pertinent tasks goes miles. It shows you’re a team player and that you care about improving the company.
So, if there’s a project that you’re not a part of but you can help with, offer your expertise. And if a co-worker is in over her head, ask if you can take a few things off her plate.
Help your co-workers to build good rapport, and you’ll also add to your skill set along the way.
You may not always feel motivated to assist, but it’s essential to make an effort. If you aren’t supportive, you can come across as someone who isn’t willing to grow.
Try not to allow that to happen because it will reflect poorly on you!
2. Boost Communication Skills
It’s normal to have disagreements at work. That’s why having communication prowess is essential.
You can prevent many disagreements if you have strong communication skills.
Or, at the very least, communicating well can help you overcome the problem.
Here are a few ways you can improve your communication:
- Enhance your non-verbal skills by relaxing and maintaining eye contact.
- Pay attention to the other person’s non-verbal cues and read between the lines.
- Be a proactive listener.
- Only focus on the here and now instead of getting off-topic during a conversation.
- Be empathetic by carefully listening and respecting what the other person has to say.
Having positive interactions will help you excel at your job, so work on cultivating them!
3. Focus on Paying Attention
While you’re speaking to someone, it’s essential to give them your undivided attention.
For example, say a co-worker gives you instructions on how to finish a task. Make sure you show them that you’re engaged.
Zeroing in on what they’re saying will save you from having to ask questions later. And it’ll show your colleague that you’re good at paying attention.
It’s especially important to listen well if you’re speaking with your boss. If your attentiveness wanes, he won’t think you’re listening!
So, do your best to tune into everyone as they speak. It’ll help enrich your job in more ways than one!
4. Stay Positive
It’s simple advice, but staying positive can take you far in your workplace.
Stay upbeat, no matter the circumstances, and look for answers to problems.
Even if you’re frustrated about a situation, try to hide how you’re feeling. Instead, brainstorm solutions instead of dwelling on dead ends.
By staying positive, you’ll show both your boss and co-workers that you’re a team player. And you may get rewarded in the future with a bonus or the opportunity to expand your career!
Besides, no one likes to be around someone negative. That’s why you should be a positive and energetic person!
5. Maintain a Professional Image
Are you showing up to work in the right attire?
Be sure to follow your company’s dress code to look professional.
You could be arriving at work wearing the right type of clothing. But, if your hair is messy, it can come off as though you don’t care about your appearance.
The same goes for something as simple as what shoes you wear. If you’re trying to wear sneakers with a pair of dress pants — that won’t fly!
It’s vital to stick to a dress code so that you blend in and look professional.
Make sure you do this every day and especially during important meetings. It’ll show you care about your job and making a good impression.
6. Always be Willing to Grow
Rock star employees are always eager to learn.
Do you want to impress your boss with your professionalism? Then be willing to work hard and refine your skill set.
Here are a few ways you can focus on doing that:
Get a Mentor
If you don’t have a mentor who can coach you on career-related goals, think about getting one. A mentor can help you grow and follow through with your goals!
To find one, ask someone you know in a similar field who has more experience than you have. Or, you may be able to find one on LinkedIn.
Connect With People on LinkedIn
Speaking of LinkedIn, networking is a great way to connect with people in your industry!
As you connect with people, you’ll undoubtedly learn career-improvement tips.
Take Online Classes
Yet another way to work on your skill set is by taking some classes online.
Find topics that will add to your current job or learn about something new. Either way, enjoy the chance to expand your skills.
With so many ways to learn, you have no excuse not to grow and enhance your career!
7. Be More Reliable
Companies like to have employees they can count on as opposed to those only showing up for a paycheck.
If you genuinely care about your job, show that you’re a reliable employee. That means you should arrive at meetings on time. And, work hard, even if you’re going through a tough time.
Put your best foot forward by conveying through your actions that they can count on you.
Also, make sure you’re available when your employer needs your help with an essential task. Your boss will be more willing to reward you in the future.
Professionalism doesn’t always come easy, but it’s certainly worth the effort.
If you want your career to soar, take the time to be a reliable and positive employee. Not only will you strengthen your job, but you’ll progress on a personal level.
So, if you’ve lacked professionalism, it’s not too late to turn things around. Care about your career and focus on making a good impression in all that you do.
Great things are bound to follow!
Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over ten years of experience in the student housing industry and works with Cottages at Tucson every day to help them with their marketing efforts