Professional presence is a broad term that describes how you conduct yourself and present yourself to the world through your work. This definition can include how you dress, how you communicate, how you treat others and how you do your job.
All of the small decisions you make throughout the day affect your professionalism in the workplace and the example you set for your employees. When you act professionally and respectfully, you set the standards high for everyone in your organization. Use these simple tips every day to stay on track with your professional demeanor.
Daily Checklist for Professionalism in the Workplace
1. Take pride in your work.
No matter what your field or what your position, you owe it to yourself and your colleagues to do the best job possible. If you are unengaged in your work, you will not bring the energy and focus you need to put your best foot forward. Try to keep yourself on task by asking, “Would I be proud to show this work to my boss/ my friend/ my mentor? Do I need anything else to do my best work?” If you need support or more resources, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
2. Be a team player.
Professionalism in the workplace is not just about how well you work on your own but also how well you work with others. Invest time and energy into building strong working relationships with your co-workers and employees, and you will see the benefits in your professional presence. Put extra effort in and be a resource for others on the job and offer mentoring and coaching help whenever possible. Be respectful in your interactions, avoid office gossip and work on your conflict management strategies.
3. Stick to business.
Try to avoid conducting personal business on company time. Many workplaces understand if you have to send a quick email to a friend about dinner plans or take an occasional cell phone call from your child’s school, but keep it short and don’t let it distract you from your job. What doesn’t help your professional presence, however, is spending hours on personal phone calls or other activities you should save for the privacy of your own home. Before you handle any personal business at the office, ask yourself, “Is it time-sensitive that I do this right now? Is it an emergency? Can it wait?”
4. Keep the mission in mind.
It is important to remember what you are working toward as an organization. Remind yourself by rereading the company mission statement, values, goals and objectives. Ask, “How is my job supporting these principles? What am I doing well, and what can I work on?”
How do you stay focused on professionalism in the workplace on a day-to-day basis?
Learn more about EDSI’s Professional Presence in a Casual World course.