PROFESSIONALISM
  • Treating others with respect and courtesy, being honest and responsible at all times
  • Adhering to high standards of integrity and ethics without wavering
  • Dressing, communicating, and conducting myself in a manner appropriate to the setting

COMMENTARY:
Quite often, words that end with ‘ism’ have negative values, or quality, and are not generally words we would want to be associated with. But Professionalism seems to be one of the few ‘ism’ words that has an almost universal positive quality.

Have you ever heard anyone complain about being treated in a professional manner or that someone acted professionally? Do you get upset when people say you are very professional? Of course not. Being professional is something people aspire to be.

So, what is it about Professionalism that appeals to so many people? Looking at the list at the top of this page, several words seem to stand out: respect, courtesy, and integrity. These words can be applied directly to how we interact and treat others. And I think that most people react positively to being treated this way; they feel valued. To me, Professionalism boils down to considering others and placing a priority on their needs and their time. 

Of course, you can’t just declare yourself professional and then take the afternoon off. It’s something that you need to work at and work toward. It is learning how to do things well, and usually requires studying or practicing. And there is a certain satisfaction you get when you know you have accomplished something difficult and have done it well.

But looking at the list above again, Professionalism is not just about yourself. It is an outlook that is other-centric and the process of becoming and being professional leads to valuing others and has a positive effect on their lives. And maybe this is why Professionalism is so highly regarded. 

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Key Words and Phrases
Exhibiting courteous behavior; Conscientious manners; Technical prowess; Expert; Ethical standards; Trained; Experienced; Authority.

Opposite Terms
Amateur; Inexperienced; Dabbler; Non-expert.

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