These are the confessions of a former Spa Director. This article is everything I’ve wanted to say to applicants and employees. Professionalism is a buzzword that is used in virtually every industry. We’ve all heard the statements that permeate the work place:
“Conduct yourself like a professional.”
“She’s very professional.”
“Please answer the phone in a professional manner.”
Many companies will even add “Level of Professionalism” to team member performance evaluations. But sadly, professionalism is rarely part of any college curriculum or taught in any skin/body care training academies. Students are left to navigate the ambiguity of what it is, and how to be “professional.”
For the most part, there is one thing you need to know about how to be professional– don’t behave like you’re with your friends on a Friday night. Regardless if that includes sweat pants and Netflix or a mini skirt and martinis. Professionalism is about playing a role, that’s a little bit of you, and a lot of common sense.
Top 5 Tips To Being More Professional
These tips will range from some very specific pieces of advice to broader suggestions on how to approach overall areas of your career, including interactions with other professionals. Being professional is never more important than when you’re job hunting and interviewing, so I have included some tips for job hunting as well.
1. Personal Email Address
Be sure to just use an email address with your name. Avoid email addresses that express your Friday night personality such as BlondeBabe18@yahoo.com or PartyAllNightPaul@gmail.com. During my time as a Spa Director, I couldn’t believe some of the utterly unprofessional email addresses that I saw, some with profanity in them! Stick to your first and last name, or some variation there of.
2. Be On Time
There is simply no easy way to say this. If you’re late to an interview, you’ve pretty much blown it. Being on time for interviews, and for work everyday is one of the easiest things you can do to be professional. Being late to an interview is just forcing your potential employer to believe you’re going to be late regularly. Oh, here’s a very important tip, calling to tell them you’re going to be late is just adding a headline to a very bad article. Be early, it shows a sense of eagerness and dedication; these are qualities that potential and current employers value!
3. Grooming & Personal Appearance
You would think it would go without saying, but it doesn’t.
When going to a job interview and/or your regular job there are a few key essentials that must be done daily.
A. Take a shower or bath.
B. Brush your teeth.
C. Use some sort of deodorant.
D. Be sure your hair is properly combed and styled.
Other suggestions, so that you can avoid the pitfall of appearing unprofessional to a potential or current employer include:
A. Wear minimal, conservative jewelry.
B. If your clothes need to be ironed – iron them.
C. Men – shave your face. Ladies – shave your legs or cover them.
D. Don’t wear cologne or perfume.
E. Wear half as much make up as you would on Friday night, yes this applies to men also!
F. Have a firm and confident handshake! Practice with a friend, it will impress more than you can imagine.
Being an effective communicator is paramount to being professional. Avoiding slang, speaking in the proper tone for your environment and knowing when to speak and not to speak are crucial. Essentially, if you’re in an environment that’s a business setting, you speak in a soft tone and in grammatically correct sentences. For example, yelling is generally always considered unprofessional. Yelling at a supervisor in slang is never a good thing! Side chitchat during a business meeting is rude and unacceptable, and engaging in gossip is a like eating too much chocolate cake; it’s fun when you’re doing it, but the after effects can make you want to cry.
5. Minimizing Emotion
The most important part of holding any job is that you will be able to offer consistent performance on an ongoing basis. Employers look for employees who are able to manage their personal emotions so they are able perform at optimal levels. Of course, we are all human and will have situations that need to be addressed, but most employers have proper procedures for handling personal life situations that come up. If emotions run high in the work place it can not only reduce your productivity, it can also interrupt the entire team’s ability to perform at optimal levels.
These are just a few basic tips on how to ensure that you are conducting yourself in a professional manner in a professional environment. Living by these tips will help to set yourself apart from other team members, and you will find yourself quickly earning the admiration and respect of your supervisors and peers.
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