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Monday, June 21, 2010

Soft Skill - Are you Professional?

MAINTAINING PROFESSIONALISM – When you are on the job, it is advisable to be professional. This can range from clothing to how you speak to a client.
  • Do you do the job to the best of your ability; take pride in the job you do; make a positive impact?
  • Do you start your workday neat and clean; report for work on time and stay for your entire shift or workday?
  • Do you honestly earn your pay; keep your mind on the job at hand; respect your work?
  • Do you treat your customers and coworkers with respect and dignity?
  • Do you employ good manners in my interactions with others?
  • Do you take care of your tools and supplies, whatever their cost?

If you are the supervisor do you: 
  • Set an example of proper performance for your staff?
  • Acknowledge and reward excellence among your staff?
  • Give meaningful feedback when you see a problem developing?
  • Enforce company guidelines evenly across your staff?
  • Provide a "measuring stick" of what you expect from your staff?
  • Supply appropriate tools to enable your staff to perform their work?

Some aspects need a bit more explanation.

• Attendance and Punctuality - Everyone in the business relies on you being ready to work when you are scheduled. Punctuality is an important quality that employers look for in their workers. If you are scheduled from 8AM to 5PM, your employer wants you to be ready to work at 8AM. Calling in frequently not only hurts your employer and fellow employees but reflects badly on you. Being absent or tardy may cause your employer to stop scheduling you or even let you go.

• Treat people with respect and act properly. Do not tell rude or embarrassing jokes, gossip, use slang, or use harmful language.

• Respect privacy policies. Privacy policies are made to protect individuals and may be required by law in some cases. Breaking a privacy policy may result in termination. If you do not understand the privacy policy, be sure to clarify it with a supervisor or the boss.

• Participate in meetings with a positive and helpful attitude. Sit up straight, listen, maintain a comfortable level of eye contact, take notes, and ask questions when the time is right. Speaking up in a meeting may be a challenge if another coworker is more dominant or if you are unprepared.

• Dress properly and maintain good personal hygiene for the job. Most businesses have a business casual dress code so employees may be comfortable while maintaining a professional image. Find out what the employer dress code is and adhere to it.

• Clarifying roles and responsibilities – understanding what the chain of command is, who is responsible for what portion of a project, and knowing what your specific role is important to being effective in your job.

• Above and beyond – going to work every day, doing your job correctly and on-time are key factors to keeping your job. In some economies, it isn’t enough. If you show a willingness to learn new things, take the initiative on projects or to solve problems, or accepting responsibility may give you an edge in your level of professionalism.


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