The benefits of being professional at work include raises, promotions, and the respect from your co-workers. Sometimes it’s difficult to remain professional every hour of the day, but it gets easier when you make professionalism a habit. Focus on your own performance and you’ll start to see the rewards of your hard work.
1. Be on time in the morning and all day.
If your starting time is 9:00 a.m., then be in your office no later than 8:45 a.m. If your lunch hour starts at noon, then make it a point to be back in the office by 1:00 p.m. every single day. Make it a habit to always be on time.
2. Become a resource to the people you work with.
Pay attention in departmental meetings and be sure to read the company memos that circulate through the website and in the company mailbox. If you stay on top of company information, then people will recognize you as a resource and respect your professional approach to your job.
3. Avoid office politics and gossip.
It's an unfortunate truth that office politics is a way of life as you climb the corporate ladder. But if you avoid office drama and stay far away from co-worker gossip, then you’ll establish the professional reputation you want.
4. Dress professionally.
When it comes to dressing professionally, you don’t need to wear a business suit every day. Your job came with a dress code and you need to follow that code. If your job requires a business formal dress code, then follow it. Keep yourself professionally groomed, and always pay attention to your personal hygiene.
5. Show respect for others in your office.
You don't need to be the shoulder everyone cries on, but you do need to have respect for others and show common courtesy to your co-workers. If there’s a fellow employee that you’d rather not associate with, then avoid his company and don’t get involved in whispering behind his back.
6. Always follow company policies.
Most companies create an employee handbook that outlines the policies and procedures you should follow. Carefully review this manual and make sure you’re getting your job done efficiently and to code. Use company policies as your framework for how you perform your job.
7. Get your job done.
The internet makes it easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of your deadlines. But when you’re trying to be more professional at work, you need to stay focused on your job and remain productive. Create a task list that you follow every day, and avoid the kinds of distractions that cause you to lose sight of your responsibilities.
8. Carry a notepad with you to write down important info.
As you walk down the hall at work, a manager stops you and asks you to take care of a quick task for him. You agree to it and then get back to your desk. The next morning, the manager informs you that he’ll have to work this weekend to complete the task that you completely forgot about. Whether it’s a digital notepad or an old-fashioned pen and paper, professionals carry something with them to write down important tasks and make sure they get done.
9. Never be afraid to ask questions.
Professionals are eager to learn new things, but they also want to clearly understand what’s expected of them. You need to ask questions and then use the information you get to improve your career.
10. Look forward to each day.
A professional looks forward to the opportunities and challenges that each new day brings. You shouldn’t dread going to work every morning—instead, savor the opportunity to learn and grow on a daily basis.