In these trying economic times, we only have one time to make a first impression. Whether we are head of a laid-back graphic t-shirt company or the CEO for an AM Law 100 firm, being a professional may mean the difference between getting a contract and not. Professionalism goes far beyond a title, a salary and fine threads. A true professional combines her skills, ethics AND (yes!) looks, providing the total package.
Because someone is working in a professional environment does not quantify her as a professional. And just because someone is working in a place preserved to be “non-professional” doesn’t mean that she is unprofessional. There are specific traits that one must possess in order to be labeled a professional.
Punctuality: A professional is ALWAYS on time!
Nothing excuses tardiness. It’s really tacky. I’ve been watching a lot of Real Housewives lately and I’ve noticed a direct link to the women who make the most money. They not only are excited about what they do, they are always punctual. Even when partying or having lunch with the girls, the one’s who are (almost) always punctual make a lot more money than those who are always “fashionably” late.
Preparation: Professionals practice preparation
A few months ago, I was invited to go on a trip to Naples. In my excitement, I didn’t take the time to check my car’s fluids and do a quick inspection. Not more than an hour into my ride, I blow a tire. What’s worst? I didn’t come with a spare. I know, “what was I thinking?”
A professional is always prepared, regardless of if you’re working that day or not! You never know when you’re going to make a potential sale or meet one of your clients or customers. You should ways look the part and be prepared with materials on your person or in your car so you can access them.
Persistence:Practice Makes Perfect!!
Professionals obsess over their businesses! They are very passionate about what they do and are involved in every detail of their careers. They are persistent even when things are grim. They realize that their success comes in their persistence. The reason why nearly 60% of restaurants fail in the first 3-5 years may be due to lack of persistence. (i.e. find the problem(s) and growing from mistakes)
Polished: Professionals play the part!
A professional pulls it all together with the look. Because you only get one time to make a first impression, the very first judgment someone makes about you comes even before you’ve said a thing! Agree or disagree, people first see who you are on the outside before they get to know who you are on the inside.
These are but a few traits that a true professional posses. If you are not making the kind of money you believe you’re worth or the kind of money you’d like to be making, establishing a few good habits may distinguish you from professionals and the rest!
“The Modern Naturalista”