Many employers are implementing creative ideas to keep employees happy and increase company morale. As a result of this, individuals at some companies are now able to bring their dogs to work, enjoy an on campus yoga class at lunchtime or spend a day playing Trivial Pursuit instead of pounding the pavement. There are many benefits to fun and exciting workplaces, but having some fun is not an excuse for forgetting about professionalism. Maintaining professionalism in the workplace is an integral step to take if you want to get ahead, earn respect in your organization and represent your company properly in a competitive economy.
One of the most important steps to take if you want to be viewed as a true professional is to gain the skills necessary to do your job right and get your projects completed on time. Competence and reliability are two traits that all employers look for, and it is important to continue displaying them long after your initial job interview is over. Your boss, fellow employees and customers need someone who will show up to work on time, complete important tasks in a timely manner and consistently get the job done right. Earn a reputation as a true professional by always being the person that everyone can count on.
In addition to being the person that people can depend on, it is important to look the part. Following your company's dress code shows that you care about what you are doing and respect the work atmosphere that you are in. While dressing professionally does not always mean wearing a suit to work every day, it does mean observing what your successful managers and colleagues are wearing and mimicking that dress code. Taking the time to do this can help to associate you with the most successful individuals in your company, and it may eventually lead to you becoming one of them.
If you really want your career path to be a successful one, combine looking the part with respectful communication. The words please and thank you can go a long way toward impressing the boss and representing yourself as a true professional. In contrast, always demanding to have things done your way or sulking when you are not chosen for an important project can destroy relationships with your superiors and put you at the bottom of the list when they are looking to promote. If you work with customers, acting respectful toward them can earn you the reputation as a quality customer service provider and make you an invaluable asset for your organization.
Maintaining healthy, professional relationships with your coworkers and supervisors is important. While healthy, friendly relationships benefit the workplace by creating a team dynamic, unprofessional relationships are often contagious, and they can damage the morale throughout your organization. Gossip, back stabbing and favoritism are common when employees get too close to each other or to their supervisors, and this often leads to resentment and fear. Keep your work relationships friendly but professional, and if a love interest or close connection should form, speak to your human resources department about it to see if a transfer is in the best interest of everyone on your team.
Finally, remember that professionalism always starts from within. To be viewed as a model team member and a true asset to your team, focus on the unique qualities that help you to stand out in the crowd. Take the time to pursue continued education, within your company or at a local community college, to keep your skills current and continue to learn new things that will benefit your company. Use your skills to mentor others and motivate them to get ahead. Remain consistent in your dedication to the work environment even if others are pessimistic and not so focused. Your attitude will get you noticed in a positive way, and your efforts might just prove to be contagious in a way that increases the level of professionalism of others on your team.
Practice the steps outlined here, and you will increase your chances of being perceived as a professional and getting ahead in your organization. Your efforts will improve the way you are representing your company and increase your organization's chances of success in our competitive marketplace.