Professionalism: Tips for Being Your Best on the Job

Try this advice and earn yourself a positive reputation

Good job skills are important for you to succeed in your career field. In addition to your job skills, it’s also important to know how to act like a professional when you’re on the job. What does it mean to act professionally? Professionalism is a collection of many traits and behaviors. With a little practice, you can learn what it means to be a professional. The Branford Hall Career Institute invites you to practice these 8 tips for becoming more professional.

1. Show respect to others
Respecting others is one of the best ways to show professionalism. Respect should be extended to everyone—your superiors, your co-workers, and those who work below you. You also need to show respect for the people you serve. If you are in a medical career, you need to respect your patients. If you are in a role that serves customers, you should show your customers your respect at all times, even if they are being difficult or demanding.

2. Learn to communicate effectively
Most disagreements and arguments begin with a lack of communication. Good communication takes a little practice, but can save you from misunderstandings. In your career, you will probably work with a team of others. Whether you work as a medical assistant on a healthcare team, as a technician with a crew of HVAC workers, or a bench technician in an IT department, there will be others on your team. You need to be able to communicate effectively with your team in order to keep things running smoothly.

3. Be proactive
Being proactive means anticipating needs before they arise. This is a great trait of professionals. Rather than reacting to events and getting flustered, you can try to anticipate what will happen and be prepared in advance. Some ways to be proactive are to (1) arrive at work early to prepare for what’s coming that day, (2) manage your time wisely so that you can complete your responsibilities on time, (3) lend a hand to others when they need extra help, and (4) suggestion solutions to problems to help make things better for everyone.

4. Dress for success
Dressing appropriately for your job is important to how you are perceived. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your wardrobe to dress professionally. Choose clothing that flatters you. Choose clothing that is the right level of dressiness for your career. And remember, thrift stores and consignment shops can help you fill out your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

5. Don’t complain
All jobs have their pros and cons. Do your best to limit or eliminate your complaining. No one wants to work with someone who complains all the time. Instead of complaining, try to be a problem-solver who comes up with solutions for the matters that are frustrating.

6. Practice your basic manners
A simple “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” can go a long way to showing that you are a professional. Politeness is a great antidote to rudeness and can set a good tone for everyone around you. Taking the time to think of others—whether it is holding a door or offering a hand—can earn you a good deal of respect.

7. Keep learning
Most career fields are continuously evolving. There is always more to learn about your field as new advances are made. Staying up-to-date shows that you are someone who takes initiative. If you are knowledgeable about your field, you can become a valued go-to person whom others trust.

8. Look up from your phone
People get so absorbed in their mobile devices that they forget to interact with those in front of them. Show you are a professional by resisting the temptation. Check your texts and email only a few times a day. Stay present in what you are doing at the moment. And give your full attention to the people around you.

With these tips, you should be well on your way to professional behavior. We wish you the best of luck in your future career!


The Branford Hall Career Institute posts regular blog articles as a resource for its students. Our school offers training for medical assistants, massage therapists, computer network technicians, personal fitness trainers, and more. To find out more about career training at Branford Hall, contact us online.