Professionalism is a skill that can be learned, just like public speaking and IT competence. It is a silent skill that can have significant positive effects. People easily trust people who look professional.
Presenting a professional appearance makes you look more competent and knowledgeable even before you have opened your mouth. Adapting to present yourself this way will result in better opportunities at work, more responsibilities, and a difference in the speed with which your career progresses.
Outside of the workplace, people who look professional are referred to in social settings. People assume that someone who looks so well put-together must be reliable. It will cause people to automatically treat you with more respect.
Luckily, looking professional can be done with some changes to your clothing and self-presentation. Once you start looking at the part, you will feel more confident, and your mind will embody the traits you are seeking.
Give Yourself a Dress Code
Your workplace likely has a dress code that you are obligated to follow. But, there is a difference between obeying the letter of the law and dressing well within the rules.
Ditch the loose and comfortable office wear and invest in actual formal wear. Purchase suits and shirts that fit your shape and then have them tailored to a professional finish. Get a haircut and style it every day.
Your Accessories Matter
Wear a watch. This may seem like a simple thing, but it can give you a real air of competence. If your screen is cracked, then find a place that can repair your smartphone. If you have a fun phone cover, consider getting a muted one for the office and using the fun one on weekends.
We use our phones so often in our work life that the neatness of it can have an impression on our colleagues and supervisors.
Punctuality is the main difference between a competent professional and a mere employee. You will need to find a way to become more punctual in both your professional and social obligations.
Punctuality is not just about showing up to work on time. It is about being prepared and present at meetings, meeting deadlines efficiently, and managing your workload reasonably and effectively. If you find that you will be late, make sure to contact your manager and team as soon as possible and let them know when to expect you.
Become More Organized
By embracing a more organized system with your work files and tasks, you will easily impress your managers and colleagues. Organization means that you know exactly what you are doing at any given time.
Your tasks will be finished promptly, you can easily lay your hands on any data you are asked for, and where you need help, you will know to delegate and prioritize tasks. These are the actions of people who get promoted because they show they know how to do their work well and help others be more efficient.
Work on improving your communication skills. Professional communication avoids using complicated words and, instead, succinctly gets to the point. In the workplace, everyone is busy and will appreciate someone who can communicate clearly and concisely.
Effective communication is also about good listening skills being utilized frequently. You must pay attention to the person speaking to you to understand the intent behind the assigned task and the instructions. This will allow you to competently deliver a task that is not just suitable but highly satisfactory.
Be a Dependable Individual
This is something that can make you popular in the workplace and improve your relationships a great deal. Be a dependable person whom people can rely on to do exactly as they have promised. If you take on any form of responsibility, then deliver within the time frame you said you would.
Reliable employees can expect more job security during recessions as the company can be sure that they will continue to deliver their work consistently. It will also improve your standing with your superiors and give you a better chance at promotions and raises.
The most important factor in guaranteeing that you can project an air of professionalism is to believe that you are a professional. Self-confidence is a skill that can make a huge difference in your quality of life.
There is a strong link between occupational success and self-confidence. Therefore, look to the managers and colleagues you most admire and emulate them till you achieve the level of confidence and professionalism that you desire.