10 Easy Habits That Will Make You Seem More Professional

Katie Sweeney

Maybe it was a cop who pulled you over and then asked for your number. Or perhaps it was a flight attendant who rudely snapped at a young mother trying to quiet her distraught baby nearby. Possibly it was a bank teller who made an insulting comment about the lack of zeros in your savings account. Whatever the situation, we’ve all witnessed extreme unprofessionalism. While their reactions aren’t uncommon, there is no excuse for acting unprofessional while on the job. A recent Inc. article highlights the importance of professionalism in job success. In the piece, Bill Murphy Jr. lists 17 simple practices that will make you look more professional at work. Below are the first 10; head over to Inc. for the complete list.

  1. Confidence. You are competent and capable of doing your job, so own it.
  2. Candor. Give thoughtful, candid opinions, and you’ll be respected by your peers.
  3. Self-awareness. Murphy says to know “who you are and where you fit in the world, and owning your strengths and weaknesses,” and we couldn’t agree more.
  4. Strategic thinking. Identify your goals, then figure out what you need to do to achieve them.
  5. Anticipation. This is especially important if you work in a field that is supportive. Anticipate others’ needs, challenges, and solutions, and you’ll be a better employee.
  6. Caring. “You can't truly help others if you can't bother to learn about their goals and fears.” Enough said.
  7. Realism. Promise only what you can actually deliver.
  8. Follow-through. When you say you are going to do something, actually do it.
  9. Enthusiasm. Being positive and energetic about something is always a win! 
  10. Diligence. Don’t overlook the small things. Be careful and persistent with your work.

To learn more about professionalism in the workplace, read Susan Bixler’s 5 Steps to Professional Presence.

Whats the worst act of unprofessionalism you’ve ever experienced?

Explore: Work, Professionalism

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