10 Ways to Be Professional at Work

10 Ways to Be Professional at Work

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 alwaysbe 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 theprofessional reputationyou 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.

A Professional Attitude Can Have Its Own Benefits

When you take a more professional attitude towards your job, you open up new opportunities. Visit LiveCareer and use thesalary calculatorto see if perhaps your professional attitude may warrant a raise in salary.


Ready to build a strong resume? Create My Resume


More Articles about 10 Ways to Be Professional at Work

American Idol's Lessons for Job Seekers

Beyond its entertainment value, did you know that American Idol can help you find a job? Here are 4 job search tips based on the teachings of AI.

How to Negotiate a Raise

Some things to keep in mind as you negotiate your salary.

Most Annoying Break Room Behavior

The results of a survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam asking employees about the break-room behavior they found most annoying – and, occasionally, disgusting.

How to Make Long-Term Career Plans

Career-planning tips for three of the most significant starting points most of us will face during our working lives.

Most Annoying Co-Workers

A large survey by the staffing firm Ranstad USA asked employees what their biggest office peeves were. It turns out they all involved co-workers. Annoying ones.

You’re the Boss Now: A Shift to Management Means a Shift in Attitude

After you graduate to a supervisory role, a few fundamental aspects of your attitude and your approach to the job will need to change.

2010's Most Annoying Workplace Trends

There are good workplace trends, like greater job flexibility, and bad workplace trends, like reduced benefits. Here are some just plain annoying workplace trends.

Overcoming a Personality Clash with Your Boss

LiveCareer offers advice for overcoming a personality clash with your boss.

The Art of Accepting Constructive Criticism

When you're criticized on the job, handle the situation with class by keeping these considerations in mind.

What to Do After Being Passed Over for a Promotion or Salary Increase

What to Do After Being Passed Over for a Promotion or Salary Increase

Assess Your Work Style

If there's a good match between your work style and your career, you're more likely to love your job.

Salary Negotiations: How to Get What You're Looking For

LiveCareer offers tips for negotiating your salary and getting what you're looking for.

Is Bragging Good for Your Career?

Want to get ahead at work or land that job you’ve been eyeing? It’s time to do something that might initially make you uncomfortable: Brag.

6 Ways to Stay Awake at Work without Caffeine

Need toothpicks to keep your eyes open at work? If you're trying to kick the caffeine habit, don't fret! Here's six ways to stay awake.

How to Deal With a Coworker Who’s Stealing Credit for Your Hard Work

LiveCareer explains how to deal with credit stealing coworkers.

Toxic Managers

LiveCareer exposes toxic manager types and gives you helpful suggestions for how to deal with them.

How to Ask for a Raise

Keep these tips in mind before, during and after you request a raise, and you’ll increase your chances of a positive answer.

Don’t Be “That Guy”: Four Work Personas That Don’t Go Over Well

If you find yourself trying too hard to be any of these people while at work, stop and change course. Let the go of the act and try just being yourself.

How to Evaluate Good and Bad Career Advice

The experts at LiveCareer share lessons learned when accepting career advice.

Workplace Gossip: When it’s a Good Idea to Slow the Rumor Mill

If a friend wants to share a harmless secret or group of teammates need to decompress over happy hour, feel free to participate but recognize when it's time to stop pouring grist into the mill.

Performance Evaluation Time: How to Handle a Negative Review

LiveCareer reveals a few things to keep in mind as you move forward after a negative performance review.

Psssst--Your Boss Is Spying on You!

How private are your activities at your workplace? Not very. Here are some things you need to know.

Performance Evaluation Time: How to Handle a Positive Review

LiveCareer reveals a few things to keep in mind as you move forward after a positive performance review.

Career Tips
Read more

Salary Negotiations

Career Tips
Read More

America's #1 Free Career Test! Know Yourself, Know Your Right Career.

Resume Tips
Read more

5 Tips to Career Change Success


More Career Tips


800-652-8430 Mon- Fri 8am - 8pm CST
Sat 8am - 5pm CST, Sun 10am - 6pm CST