Life: 5 Tips on Professionalism

Professionalism is a kind of art. I do my best incorporate this trait in everything I do. From the way I speak, to the way I act, and to the way I carry myself on a daily basis professionalism is an core characteristic. It is a way of life in a sense, where I consistently think about how to improve and perfect aspects of life to my greatest ability. Professionalism, is not all about being perfect; it is the sense of confidence, worth, and dignity put into anything one accomplishes. It is a crucial way I want to present myself, and another topic I would like to share my own insights on. I am not an expert, yet these are the tips that I remind myself of and seem to do quite well:

  1. Own it
    • There is nothing more off putting then someone who is not owning what they believe in. People will not take you seriously nor respect you in a particular setting (lets say an office or school) and they will not take your perspective into serious consideration. It may take some time or even an entire switch in the way you think about things, however, it is worth the time. Finding something you are passionate about will bring about a sense of natural confidence that will exude out when presenting an idea or just speaking on a subject. For me, this is architecture, I love speaking about architecture. It is not how much I know, but it is the confidence that I have when speaking about a particular structure or concept. If I lack some fact then I am quick to look it up and add it to my own mental library.
  2. Learning is power
    • There is no need to be the smartest person in the room to be considered professional. What is even better is that you know there are great learning opportunities from people right in front of you. Being open to those opportunities will only help you become more well rounded. Showing that you have a genuine interest in a particular subject will have other people thinking that you have what it takes. I am on a consistent path of learning, and I will never know enough; I embrace this feeling, it continually drives me to know more, and it is noticed by many.
  3. Feel like it, look like it
    • Embrace your own version of professionalism. Whether that is giving yourself a good pep talk in the mirror, or going for the perfect morning work out. When you feel ready, you will most likely be ready for anything that comes your way. Be who you are and you will emulate comfort and poise.
  4. Know the value of you
    • Never settle for anything less than what you deserve. Whether you think you were wrongly critiqued on a project or did not receive the respect or time that is due, you need to stand up for yourself. You will be glad you did, and you may even be surprised with the results. One time I strongly believed that I was not treated right in a meeting at a past position, so after taking some time to think about what I wanted to say I approached my supervisor and explain how I perceived the interaction and told her the view from my side. She ended up apologizing for that mistake. It takes courage to speak up for yourself, yet it is necessary.
  5. Suit it up
    • Appearance is something one should be proud of. Looking the part is just as important as knowing it. It is showing that you carry yourself with class and not make yourself an exception to everyone else. Know when to dress in business attire, business casual, or casual, yet always do it in a way that works for you. One of my signature looks is a skirt with a bit of color and a blazer with my classic heart necklace to top it off. It is still professional, but it is also still me. You do not have to sacrifice who you are to look a certain way, just embrace parts of you when you have to dress a bit out of the norm and incorporate those aspects into your professional looks. Manners are also highly valued in a professional setting. Practice a good handshake and keeping comfortable eye contact, these are things people notice right away. Think before you speak and talk in a eloquent manner so you carry conversations with ease. It takes practice, yet it is a must for any professional setting.
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