Here is a definition of professionalism from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary; having or showing the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.
So, how do we act more professional? Having a career means being professional because you have a skill. By having a job in a career, you need to have the skills to perform that job well, but imperatively you need to show proper judgement when handling your work and other people around you. Always be polite to your co-workers and clients (or in the medical professions ‘patients’) especially your boss.
I recently researched online for articles to teach people to be more professional then what they are, but I certainly could not find such a decent article on the subject. People generally write things without giving specific enough examples of the best way of being professional.
A lot of people notice the involuntary tics I have and think I am being unprofessional, but is this a good thing to poke fun about. Could there be an easier way to deal with this? Consider observing yourself in the mirror.
When thinking about what thoughts you may have to help yourself deal with a situation, consider thinking in your mind especially when around other people. Many asperger/autistic people don’t think in their mind too often and should try to think in their mind rather than outloud. Its important to do this especially if you are at work and being told you are being unprofessional.
Here are steps you can keep for yourself to be more professional in your life. This way you can keep a job or in many other cases find a good well paid job for your career.
1) Keep your thoughts to yourself when not be spoken to
2) Don’t make unusual noises and/or movements if in a meeting, sitting at your desk, or while waiting for a patient/with a patient
3) Speak stern and to the point (No Commercials!!!) Just make sure people acknowledge you are the one in charge when you speak especially if you are in the medical field. If you have to stare in a mirror at home for 1 hour each day to make you aware of what you actually do then do that.
4) Get your job done in the most efficient manner you can think of without taking short cuts!!
5) Observe how your coworkers talk to the boss, clients/patients, other coworkers, even to yourself
6) Acknowledge your mistakes to the boss and figure out ways to improve those mistakes
7) Listen to other people who tell you what you are doing is unprofessional, but most importantly listen to your inner higher self to help give yourself intuition. The more you listen to your inner higher self, the more you don’t have to seek others for help. Ask yourself: Am I being lazy when asking for other people’s opinions?
8) Organize your thoughts when speaking, and most importantly organize your material things in your life (throw away unnecessary things which are meaningless to you)
9) Don’t let any one speak down at you! Know your rights and let others know you are Human too, hence, be your own advocate!
10) Keep on learning in the field you chose, its just that important. If you are not learning, you are dying.
11) Be polite and courteous to every one you talk to, in return, you gain more dignity.
12)Remember to dress appropriately for your job in your career and maintain proper hygiene!!
13) Last, but not least, keep growing up (not down like an onion), set boundaries, respect others’ boundaries, and direct yourself toward your goal of being a leader in your field of choice!!
14) Keep fit and exercise!!
15) Meditate every day, I just can’t seem to stress this enough to many people.
Hope I didn’t miss anything, if I did, please add your comments…Thank you and remember to be yourself and act like an Adult on the job!! Always remember to be positive with yourself and things will turn out just fine…
Posting soon enough,
I am speaking to new teachers on how to act professionally. Like you, I could not find a good article that spoke about professionalism until I stumbled on your site. I love your article and am going to use your advice in my talk. Of course I will credit your name and work.
Thanks so much for sharing. My son is autistic. He is 19 and is non verbal, but he is the love of my life. Thanks for advocating for the autistic world.
Angela I agrre with you on what you said, about its always been like that, and good luck been the boss one day and changing things,,
This is an excellent article I must say, keep up the good work!
Jason, I stumbled upon your blog when someone posted it on google+. I really like your take and acceptance on the subject of professionalism. I am a school psychologist intern right now but I used to work 1:1 in home with children with autism. Many lessons we instill in children in that program was how to pretend to be “normal”. I don’t know if I am completely rebellious or maybe a little on the spectrum myself but I am constantly questioning “why?!” Many times the answer is “because that’s how it’s always been” and it bugs me. You are absolutely right to question professionalism. The definition you gave and society’s definition are very different. Culturally, we are not allowed to act, dress, etc. in certain ways just because that’s how it has always been. In my job, professionalism means dressing very nice. I can do my job in jeans and would probably have more flexibility but it is unprofessional to wear jeans. Why? Thank you for your post, it helped me get off my rebellious horse and think, if I want a job and want to keep it I will follow these rules. One day, when I am the boss maybe I can change the rules. Keep up the good work!