Who is a professional? What does he/she look like: a banker in a tailored two-piece suit, a lawyer in a beautiful pantsuit? Who is a professional? The word, ‘Professional’, has taken on many meanings. It is defined as behaving in a courteous manner. You are said to be professional when you keep the ethical standards and code. People say you are a professional when you have a particular profession as a permanent career. The most interesting definition is being a professional because you are paid to do a job—any job.
As I did my mini-research, I stumbled on talks of payments, fashion-sense, ethical standards and great behavior. Nobody was relating professionalism to actual competence—nobody—at least, not that I saw.
Isn’t a professional supposed to be competent at his job? Isn’t the baseline supposed to be that he or she knows the job well? I don’t think a great tie on a good shirt; wrapped up in a $2000 suit should define who a professional is. Leather briefcases do not automatically make you a professional. Who is a professional?
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEW PROFESSIONAL
First and foremost, she/he knows his job well.
She/he is ready to make changes to a system that doesn’t work in order to reach the goal. She/he sees the big picture and understands how his/her little role makes for a better, bigger picture.
She/he doesn’t just look good, but delivers great on projects.
She/he sets the standard and blazes the trail for her/his industry mates.
She/he seeks to improve her/himself—constantly raising the bar.
Maybe I am a New Professional—at least I wear jeans and Chuck Taylors to work. That should count for something. But seriously, the question is this: are you a new professional, or just some high-end-fashion-wearing-ethics-compliant-gets-paid-to-do-a-job professional?
Let me know.