There are certain expectations that associate itself with the word professional:
- Visually – Formal, Suit & Tie, Clean,
- Personal Character – Courteous, Punctual, Polite
- Communication – Well Spoken, grammar, education
These expectations derive not only from a corporate world but immediately from school where we’re taught to dress in uniform, stand with hands out of pockets, sit up straight, address as “Sir/Miss” in an attempt to better ourselves and blend in so we can fit in. Its basic preparation for future work life and professionalism with an assumption that it’s beneficial.
However respectable, notable and beneficial these elements are, there’s also a notable point that the most successful people didn’t and do not adhere to the terms we see may see as professional.
I see many who don’t turn up to meetings on time. Many who forgo the suit and tie. Many who dropped out of school and many who are just different. Some are not likely to be so courteous and polite and some are not well spoken at all but yet they are all successful in their own right.
Their by no means trying to be offensive or unprofessional, their just being themselves in which case does individual character supersede professionalism in its stereotypical definition.
It seems that to be a successful professional you need to stray from the typical a little and forget whats been learned in order to be different, forward thinking and successful. You have to just be you as oppose to what schools and the corporate world has taught us.
Focusing on small or typical aspects of professionalism such as formalities and false pretenses are actually good practice and might be helpful in certain situations but its worth noting that it might also not be that important. Maybe being you despite stereotypical expectations is enough and even better. Maybe thats your own marketing tool and maybe even the making of your personal brand.
Should you be unprofessional to become successful or profitable?
At the end of the day, whatever you do and how you do it should be decided by the core definition:
1.following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain.