The Basics of Workplace Professionalism: Why It Matters, and How to Exemplify It at Work

5 min read
Young professional know workplace professionalism

Times are changing. Lines have become blurry, boundaries have been crossed, and roles have been reversed. Knowing your place in any setting is very important. This especially rings true in the workplace, where you have a career ladder that you have to consider and that you have superiors that you should watch out for.

Usually, companies have a set code of conduct for employees to follow. More than being competent and good at your job, of course, you always have to show workplace professionalism, in front of your colleagues and your clients. High level of professionalism will take you places as well as impress and inspire your colleagues and your superiors.

Being professional is sometimes easier said than done. With the times changing and people adapting, there are just some instances wherein you find yourselves at a crossroads, wondering whatever you should do next. But what does workplace professionalism mean? And how do you show professionalism in the workplace? Let’s find out.

Related Article: How Young Professionals Can Adapt in the Workplace

What is Professionalism in the Workplace?

First, what is professionalism in the workplace? And what does professionalism in a work setting entail? Workplace professionalism is hard to define since it actually embodies a collection of qualities and values that your or the company has set. Adding to the nuances involved in this is the fact that one might have various definitions of being professional and can still be accepted and considered as a correct description.

Whatever the case, being professional means being able to convey discipline and diligence while performing your responsibilities. It is being accountable and ethical, having the ability to show the right conduct at all times. In terms of workplace professionalism, it basically means showing appropriateness, integrity, and respect toward the people you work and engage with. Being able to show good behavior while also showing excellence and competence are just some definitions of workplace professionalism.

Two colleagues showing workplace professionalism

Why is Professionalism Important in the Workplace?

Now that we have an idea what workplace professionalism is, let’s examine why it is important. Why is it one of the things that employers look for when hiring a new team member? Why does being professional in the workplace a big help when it comes to career growth?

Professionalism in the workplace is important because it shows your commitment and personal values in terms of work. It is very important to have workplace professionalism because it simply shows your attitude toward your job and the company you work for. Being professional at work exhibits that you care about your job. It is also a sure way of showing your respect and consideration for your colleagues, company, and the title that you hold.

Aside from the reasons stated above, having workplace professionalism will take you further in a career setting. If you are vying for a promotion, or just simply asking for a recommendation or feedback, being professional will surely be on top of the list to consider. It also helps achieve a harmonious workplace: If all employees embody workplace professionalism, company growth and a positive work environment will follow.

How to be Professional in the Workplace

But how do we do it? As mentioned before, it might be hard to pinpoint one specific description that constitutes being professional. Nonetheless, you can do a thing or two that will surely show professionalism in a workplace setting.

1. Communicate effectively.

The way you communicate verbally and non-verbally is one way of showing workplace professionalism. Your choice of words, tone, and attentiveness is what you should consider if you want to develop and show a high level of professionalism. A professional employee always keeps in mind to not be rude and to use formal and proper words and language when communicating with others. It is also important that you know how you can get your message across effectively.

2. Show accountability.

Being able to admit your mistakes and owning it is one of the things that can show that you are professional and that you are taking your job seriously. Having the ability and initiative to own up your mistakes and correct it spells workplace professionalism.

3. Choose your battles.

Not everyone and everything deserves a reaction. Knowing when to fight or to walk away shows professionalism. It actually shows that you know not to stoop down on someone else’s level and you know better than to waste your time in some banter. You know where to allot the energy that you have.

4. Exhibit grace under pressure.

Being able to work under pressure is one way of expressing workplace professionalism. It means that you handle your responsibilities well without having to compromise your relationship with your colleagues.

A man enjoying and valuing workplace professionalism

5. Dress accordingly.

One of the most common ways of showing professional behavior is by dressing appropriately. Make sure that your outfits and wardrobe are workplace-friendly.

6. Show competence, honesty, and integrity.

Be good at what you do while maintaining fairness and honesty. Show excellence and moral principles in the workplace.

7. Be self-aware.

Finally, know your limits and strengths. Be able to identify when you need help and when others need your help. Be apathetic and considerate.

How to Develop a Positive Workplace Through Professional Relationships

The first step to developing positive workplace and professional relationships is to demonstrate professionalism. Show decency and honesty. Be responsible and accountable for your tasks and always be ready to lend a helping hand to your colleagues. Avoid conflicts with your team and especially with your clients, and always remember that a strong connection with your colleagues will help you achieve a conducive work environment. All these will help you feel as if you are not going to work and would in turn lessen the negativities in the workplace.

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Why is Professional Ethics Important in the Workplace?

Professional ethics is important in the workplace because it promotes cooperation and respect for other individuals. It is the key to a positive workplace, thus making the employees more productive and more coordinated. It also entails a more harmonious workplace that is conducive and would yield better results and efficiency.

Tips for Proper Workplace Etiquette

Here are some tips for proper workplace etiquette that newcomers and old-timers in the career sector sometimes forget:

  • Exhibit proper social media etiquette
  • Do your deliverables
  • Know when to ask for help
  • Build networks
  • Be open to constructive criticism

Related Article: Workplace Etiquette: Setting a Professional Tone in Every Workplace

Group of professional showing and celebrating workplace professionalism

Workplace Professionalism: Being the Best Employee You Can Be

We know the struggle of being an employee in any industry these days. This is why we are happy to share that we have a curated selection of blogs that you can read and share with your friends to help you in your careers. Check our helpful career tips and advice to better guide you. Best 10 Resume Writers is rooting for you! Scroll through are blogs to find the help that you need and advance in the career path you want to take!