They don’t teach it at colleges or universities. They don’t teach it at most companies. Few businesses purposely teach it. Most people learn to be professional by trial-and-error. Tweet This
Here are some tips for being professional.
The late, Joe Gilliam, one of my early mentors, said that “professionals constantly need to take in good information.” A reading habit is perhaps one of the best routines for being a consummate professional.
I process about 25 books every year, reading about ten titles and listening to about twenty. New, positive information helps me cancel old, negative information.
A second idea to up your game is to help others–without being compensated. Service work or giving back is the hallmark of a true professional.
I’ve belonged to the Optimists, served as a Big Brother, and am now fully committed to Rotary International–all great organizations that can help you serve others. Dedicating time to those less fortunate and raising funds for important community projects is a great give back.
Doing service work is also one of the best ways to network with truly good people.
If you’re a professional, people are your greatest resource
Building new relationships every day will expand your world and teach you how to work with different types of people.
Use e-mail as a professional way to introduce others. Simply send one person an e-mail and explain why that person should know the third party.
Then include the third party’s e-mail address in the “cc” function of the e-mail software.
Whether being professional online or in person, be mindful of how people perceive you.
Your clothes say a lot about who you are as a person. When you dress upscale, you send a signal that you are upwardly mobile and have self-respect. Clean, new clothes that are pressed and well coordinated will help others understand that you’re professional, that you attend to detail, and that you appreciate a certain standard.
Dress a little better than those around you. Of course, flashy duds won’t fool anyone if you don’t communicate well or drop the ball in other ways.
Finally, I recommend getting out to attend seminars, speeches, and workshops. You’ll be exposed to other viewpoints and get top quality ideas on how other professionals view the world.
All of this can only help you become more professional.
Want more cool ideas?
This article is an excerpt from the book 5 Cool Ideas for Working, Living and Feeling.