Your behavior today will say a lot about the future of your life. It matters everywhere including in the workplace where you have to interact daily with your officemates and bosses. It will affect your relationships with them as well as your future career paths. Your daily behavior will shortly become how people know you as, so it can either make or break your career. It goes hand in hand with your skills and experiences, so aside from working on doing your job in the most efficient way possible, you should also know how to be professional and maintain it in your workplace.
What exactly do we mean by professional behavior? Indeed.com encompasses attitude, appearance, and manners that all fall under this umbrella. It means people would be observing the manner by which you speak to them, how you dress up for work, your actions and gestures, and your decision-making capabilities. Professionalism has main principles that touch on your respect for your colleagues and bosses, being optimistic at work, having a polite way of interacting, showing that you can weigh things in a professional way, dressing according to the professional code, etc.
When you act professionally at work, you show up for your job with efficiency and productivity. Your colleagues and external contacts you interact with have no significant bad thing to say about you because they enjoy your company and your reliability at work. You might be considered and given a leadership role. Note that in some companies, a code of professional conduct has been given so that employees can behave and dress accordingly.
To improve your job performance and grow in your career, we listed down some tips to help you be your most professional self in the workplace.
1. Always be on time.
Being punctual means you respect the time of others and that you could be someone they can rely on. Whether you work at home or in the office, coming on time is always telling of your character. It means you value your job and that you will show up at your best in any situation thrown at you.
There are many ways that you can do to arrive on time. Do not sleep late at night if you have an early engagement the next day. Make sure all your meetings are tracked in your calendar so that you won’t forget any. Account for travel time if it’s a face-to-face meeting. Your goal should be to arrive earlier than the call time so that for instance an emergency happens or you get stuck in traffic, you will still arrive on time.
During break times, make sure to take a break at the exact minute and return to your workstation on the dot as well.
If you are going to be late, notify someone in the team and apologize for your tardiness.
2. Dress appropriately.
We value democracy, yes, but this is still a workplace so it doesn’t really matter that much if there’s a strict dress code that your company implements or whether you’re allowed to dress casually for work. It’s also no excuse if you are based at home. You have to be presentable at all times which means you need to look neat and clean so that you give off a professional impression to your colleagues and clients. Do not wear items that haven’t been ironed, clothes that are too big or too tight for you. Do not wear flipflops or something that is too revealing for work. You are representing your company so first, be aware of the company guidelines; second, be mindful of the nature of your work and dress accordingly.
3. Be respectful with the way you communicate.
First off, know your company culture. If people call each other by first names, then by all means do so. If they have certain ways to call people in a higher position, follow suit. You need to show that you respect authority and your colleagues. Do not use foul language even if you are just casually talking with your workmates. This is still a workplace so do not overshare anything to your colleagues or talk about something that is too sensitive and bordering on being too nosy. Do not gossip in the office and be sensitive to others. If you have a close relationship with a colleague, you can talk to them in private instead of talking to each other about non-work matters where everyone can hear your conversation.
Listen attentively during meetings. Do not use your phone when someone is talking to you. Be clear with what you have to say. Be respectful of other people’s opinions, even if they share different beliefs from you. It’s not only the language that matters but also your tone of speaking. You should also keep in mind to make all official transactions, such as emails, as professional as possible.
4. Assume responsibility for your actions.
Do not put the blame on anyone but yourself when you make a mistake. Admit and acknowledge what you have done so that you could take the necessary steps to mitigate its damaging effects, correct it, or stop it from happening again. Focus on what you did and not on others. Your superior will most likely appreciate that you assumed responsibility for what you did. An apology is not enough; be sure to do better once you commit a mistake.
5. Do not use social media during work.
Unless it’s break time, you should avoid using Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter during work. It will only distract you and show non-interest to do everything you can in your capacity to show up fully at work. Your productivity can be questioned if someone sees that you are just using your social media accounts at work. If you are already done with a task, then it’s time to move on to another instead of being tempted to check social media.
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