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How to be professional at work

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Written by Lizanne Dsouza- Founder Liz Lyn Careers

I very often come across people who are complaining about unprofessional work environments and co-workers and have thought about why and what makes a place unprofessional.

Why are so many people's expectations not being met? is it because we are used to it? or is it because we do not know how to speak up?

Regardless of the reason, let's all admit that no one likes unprofessional behavior and it affects the overall morale in the office, so let's talk about what we can do to be professional at a workplace

Be empathetic- being empathetic helps us understand how others are feeling and act accordingly. Having empathy allows us to have compassion and see things from another perspective, this automatically resolves a lot of issues internally.

Think before you speak- often we react to things without thinking and this can cause the opposite person to take offense, this normally happens when we do not pause, so next time count to 5 until you respond and see if it changes how you feel.

Use professional language- try to stick to professional language at all times, sometimes when we speak casually we may come across as being rude or unprofessional. This simple practice can minimize misunderstands and create an environment that's respectful.

Maintaining good email and phone etiquette- a lot of people think that maintaining good etiquette requires you to only write professional emails, however, good etiquette also requires you to respond to emails within a reasonable time or call people back if you say you are going to.

Follow the rules- sometimes you may not agree to everything set out by an organization and it may not make any sense to you, however, remember that there is a reason why that rule is in place, hence you following rules shows that you are a professional person who understands boundaries.

Be Punctual- Time is money! this is what I have always believed and to me, it's the only resource that we cannot get back hence it must be used carefully. Being Punctual is a sign of respecting another person's time and this can create a good and healthy relationship between the two parties.

Keep your phone aside- too many times, we notice people on their phones while we are speaking to them or even during meetings, this shows the opposite person that you aren't interested in what they are saying and creates a disrespectful situation. If you need to be on your phone urgently, excuse yourself and state the reason if possible.

To be professional is not tough and it's not simple too, it's a demeanor that needs to be worked on consciously every day. Start with being kind :)

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