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How to Act Professionally at Work
Acting professionally at work is an important part of any corporate or work environment. It is also important for your professional and career growth. Most executive managers agree: professional behavior and attitudes often play an important role in who gets hired and promoted, as well as in who gets fired or demoted.
So what can you do? Try observing your own behavior as you interact with your co-workers, your boss and your subordinates. Make sure that you are not guilty of any unprofessional habits and if you are, try adjusting your behavior.
- Arguing or engaging in an open conflict with a co-worker. Disagreeing is Ok but do it respectfully and politely and don’t cross the line. Use good judgment and watch your manners.
- Dressing “too casually”. If you come to work sloppily dressed your looks will portray an image of a disorganized and messy worker. Dress professionally, especially if you your boss is on a conservative side.
- Making comments or jokes that could be offensive to others. Always avoid references to anyone’s personal characteristics such as nationality, race, gender, appearance or religious beliefs at work.
- Raising your voice or acting on emotions. If you’re an emotional person, try to take a break and calm down before an important conversation. People often do and say things driven by a spur of the moment that they later regret.
- Lying. Being deceitful or dishonest will tarnish your reputation for life if you get caught. It is just not worth it.
- Acting superior to others, showing your own self-importance or judging others. Professional behaviour is never having a need to prove that you are superior to anyone else.
- Be ready at all times. Being a professional is being on time and ready to work for the next client who comes in through the door.
- Be discreet. If a client, co-worker or boss asks you to keep something confidential, it is very important for you to do so.
- Be careful of what you say, and use clean language. Personal situations should stay at home, and politics or religion should never be discussed in the workplace.
- Never speak badly about a client, co-worker or your boss. It is a matter of time--your comment will reach the person you spoke about.