Professionalism in the Workplace


How Some Things Have Changed but Why Others Should Remain the Same – Professionalism in the Workplace – Part 1 of 3

Back in the day, yes, 20+ years ago when we stepped into our first professional positions, it was still the days of heels and hose (panty hose- link here if you’re younger then me!). Now we’re lucky to get away with a blouse, a matching necklace, and a quick makeup application in time for our Zoom or Google Meet.

Either way, Polished Nichols still believes in some good old fashioned professionalism rules – far beyond just those about professional dress. Here goes:

  1. Create Goals for Yourself

By creating goals for yourself, you will push yourself to achieve them.  At the beginning of a new year, compile a list of goals (personal and professional) for that upcoming year.  Be realistic.  Create monthly goals that will help you reach the final year goals.  Work hard to achieve them.  Invite others to assist you in achieving your goals.

  1. Dress Like a Professional

People make assumptions about your professional credibility and potential performance based upon your appearance. If you dress professionally, you will feel a sense of confidence and others will sense your self-assurance. Select apparel, fragrances, jewelry, and hairstyle that do not detract from your professional image. Throw on a blazer and heels on if you want to be seen as professional. Be neat and tidy – loose the wrinkles, t-shirts, and sloppy jeans. Make some effort to have your hair groomed.  (Visit our blog section for more tips in the future.)

  1. Be Confident

Let people know that you are confident in yourself, your knowledge, and your behavior.  People will remember you if you display a sense of confidence.  You don’t need to be center of attention to express your confidence — you just have to be poised.

  1. Be Knowledgeable/Read

Learn every aspect of the job.  Learn about the client, vendor, media contact before talking, e-mailing, or meeting with them.  Learn about another industry, other than your own.  Read resources for news and trends. Share your ideas and recommendations from your findings.

  1. Be Prepared

Always have a laptop or tablet on which to take notes. If you are like us, bring along your favorite pen and notepad.  People notice when you take notes.  It proves that you are paying attention and find value in what they are saying.

Always have an agenda prepared for meetings.  No matter how informal the meeting, an agenda will help guide your discussion.

In a world where we are all trying to keep it business up top for the cameras and comfort within our sweats and slippers, there are still so many other ways to showcase professionalism.  Stay engaged, knowledgeable, prepared, and confident. 

A key tip: When offices reopen, remember to replace the pj bottoms with jeans and maybe throw on a pump! Leave the nylons at home! 

Visit us for Part 2 of 3 in the Professionalism series.