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If you want to get ahead in your career, be taken seriously, and have your boss think of you as an asset, doing things in a professional way is essential. It takes more than just showing up for work consistently and on time. Enhance your image and brand while building a strong reputation based on respect, responsibility and considerate conduct for others. At the same time, build trust and credibility, and keep yourself marketable for the future.

What to Do

Acting professionally can take on different forms, depending on what you do and where you work. But there are some common traits that will enhance your self-worth and possibly translate into raises, promotions or new opportunities. They include:

  • Be good at what you do and have solid, up-to-date skills and knowledge.
  • People must be able to depend on you to show up on time and submit your work when it’s due.
  • Always tell the truth and be upfront about where things stand.
  • Be known for your consistent high principles.
  • Treat everyone as if they matter, as part of your regular MO.
  • A positive attitude. Take the high road, stay upbeat, and consistently try to be a problem solver. In short, be likable.
  • A team approach. Share both the work and the spotlight with others. Take the time to help or show coworkers how to do things better, without being pompous. Lend an ear when necessary.
  • Dressing to impress. Pay attention to company dress code and keep up your business wardrobe. Present an image that says you are confident, approachable and trustworthy.
  • Your network is as much a part of your professional image as your appearance and performance. Build in-person and online relationships. Overcome any hesitancy about networking events by teaming up with a friend or small group. Be active on relevant social media platforms, but be sure to observe applicable company policies while doing so.

What Not to Do

Steer clear of these faux pas. Everyone makes the occasional mistake, but avoid letting them happen frequently or without solid justification:

  • Overlooking the unwritten rules. These are guidelines for workplace behavior that you won’t find in your employee handbook. Knowing the unwritten rules of the game can create a win-win outcome, whether it means keeping your office door open, removing your earbuds or refilling the empty coffee pot.
  • Being inflexible. Be open to accepting new assignments. Show interest in learning new information. Learn all you can about all the functional areas of your company. Be prepared to embrace additional tasks and responsibilities should the need arise.
  • Misrepresenting yourself. You are as good as your word, so do what you say and be who you are. Let trust and integrity be your guiding principles, without exception.

Are you looking for the next step in your professional career?

As you grow as a professional and take your career to the next level, consider partnering with an experienced talent expert from TRC Professional Solutions. After all, the word “pro” is right there in our name. We are thinkers, doers, and achievers dedicated to helping you succeed. Contact us today to learn more.


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