Upgrade Your Professionalism

Whether you’re digging ditches or building rockets to space, there’s always room to upgrade your professionalism.

When you do, you’ll gain more respect, wield more influence among your peers, and earn more opportunities to increase your productivity and success.

The road to increased professionalism in your chosen field of endeavor is neither short nor easy, but you’ll certainly find the journey itself rewarding. In addition, you’ll discover that upgrading your professionalism leads to exciting opportunities and enviable destinations you cannot reach by any other route.

Here are some of the most important ways you can upgrade your professionalism:

Acquire More Expert Information

As a professional, you’re called upon to do more than most others, and this generally requires knowing, understanding, and making use of more complex information. You can start to upgrade your professionalism by solidifying and expanding your knowledge base.

What’s more, the information you as a professional are able to bring to bear on any given task or situation is continually eroding and falling out of date as your field of activity advances. For this reason, it’s important to steadily explore the cutting edge to learn what’s new. At the same time, you’ll want to regularly review and revitalize the baseline information you learned in the past.

Expand Your Mastery

Part of your professionalism is based on your skills – both the range of skills you can apply to a given situation and your proficiency with those skills. The broader your range of skills and the more proficiently you can utilize them, the more robust your professionalism.

Tools often constitute another aspect of your professionalism. Whether they include a shovel for digging ditches or an understanding of the maximum dynamic pressure a rocket must withstand during launch, as a professional you want to routinely use your tools as effectively as possible. This requires competence and confidence, of course. It also requires repeated practice with both the tools and with the intense concentration required to use them well.

As an interesting side-note, recognize that the better you can use your tools, the more reason you have to take pride in your professionalism.

Seek Out Responsibility

One reason professionals are held in high regard is they routinely take responsibility and deliver expected results. You can enhance your professionalism by looking for additional opportunities in your work and your life to do both of these.

One way is to keep your eyes and ears open for challenging opportunities, as well as for situations that are giving other people difficulties. By contributing – or at least offering – your efforts to such situations, you will normally enhance your reputation as a professional.

Of course, contributing or offering your efforts constitutes a commitment which you must honor. Once you dive in, you cannot dive back out. So be prepared to stick with your responsibilities to the end, always doing your best and helping others to do their best, as well.

Maintain Equilibrium Under Pressure

Professionals are appreciated not only because they deliver expected results, but because they routinely do so under conditions that would derail the efforts of less-qualified people. This requires an ability to perform at a high level when the pressure is “on,” when you’re not at the top of your game, and when unforeseen difficulties arise.

Delivering professional results under unfavorable conditions takes practice, which is another reason for seeking out responsibility. The more responsibility you take, and the more often you take it, the more experience you’ll gain at operating professionally when others would likely wilt.

Because professionals are highly respected and valued, they are more readily considered for exciting and rewarding opportunities. The more professionalism you develop, the more productive and successful you are likely to become.

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