What to know about professionalism at work
By Lily Schwartz
GCU Career Services
Recent graduates moving into the workplace have to learn many rules and guidelines about professionalism, both written and unwritten. Professionalism is defined as the skill, good judgment and polite attitudes and behaviors that can be expected from an individual in a given job. Maintaining these professional actions are crucial to being an exemplary employee and starting out strong in the workforce.
While every work environment is different, here are a few basic guidelines to remember that can apply to any setting:
- Being on time every day is key. If you’re not early, you’re late!
- Get dressed up each day. Research shows that individuals who dress professionally display higher levels of professionalism and a sense of influence. If a uniform is required, pay close attention to the guidelines set forth by your employer.
- Limit (if not eliminate) use of personal technology, such as cellphones; it is typically an expected practice in the workplace and will help you keep focused.
- Keep all forms of communication professional. Depending on the work environment, you might be expected to interact with others in a variety of ways, such as in person, over the phone, through email or IM (instant messenger), and letters. Regardless of the form of communication, be aware of tone, organization, grammar, proper etiquette, etc. For example, sending a joke in your email easily can come across as sarcasm if the reader is uncertain of your implications. Consider how your message might be perceived by the recipient before speaking or writing.
- Keep your actions and words positive. Not only will it encourage your coworkers, it will help you maintain optimism in your position.
Career Services is always happy to answer any specific questions you may have about professionalism. We also offer assistance with researching career options, building your resumé and conducting mock interviews. Call us at 602-639-6606 or stop by our office in Saguaro Hall to set up an appointment with a Career Advisor. Check out our website www.gcu.edu/careerservices to utilize any of our online tools, which are free to you for a lifetime.