Sure we were taught Integration and Periodic Table along with a bunch of other stuff that may or mostly may not be relevant for survival in this cutthroat world. If education is meant to lay a foundation for the adults in the making, then shouldn't that foundation involve bricks of realistic requirements?
Professionalism is a term that is rarely used at work places, let alone schools or colleges in this nation. But just because the majority of the population chooses to ignore something so important doesn't mean you need to follow the mob.
It doesn't not matter what industry you are (or will be) a part of - design, finance, education, medicine, social service, even manual labour, no field is excluded from the reach of this rare virtue. Now while we don’t claim that having a more professional approach in life will necessarily let you get a private jet in a year or so, but we do insist on it increasing your chances to get one, along with acquiring you some trustworthy networking and most importantly a respectable reputation.
So here are some DOs and some DON'Ts of Professionalism that apply to school kids, college folks and the working population:
If you are nagged for being over dressed, don’t give a FUCK! Professionals dress for their dream job and then end up nailing it way before the ones who bullied them. It is not a myth! Dressing for the part you want actually works. See the thing is, when you look sharp and tidy up for college or work, you psychologically convince yourself into a confident state and confidence as you know, is a step in the direction of progress. It also does convey your seriousness towards your work/education and your superiors will definitely take note of this sincerity, in turn improving your chances of progress, because let's be honest a smart suited up soul is better than an unsuited smart one. While exceptions are understood on occasion (Hi PMS!), don’t make comfort dressing a habit (specially all you freelancers!) This also applies to all students in fashion & art colleges, no flip flops or pjs!
Formal is not always a term for your ensemble though as mentioned above it never hurts. You need to ooze formality in you communication skills as well. Learn to keep every inter-personal message, be it face to face, on call, over email or text, as crisp and direct as possible. Talking about your personal life is a strict NO, unless it is after hours and you are with a trusted group of close people. Also avoid slangs on emails and texts at all costs, for you never know when the thread is accidentally forwarded to who (it happens!) and well it doesn’t sound very mature.
Now this may seem like a no brainer but trust us when we say it is not. Most people think it’s one of those things that the adults nag about and hence grow even more repulsive towards the idea of it, but you shouldn't. While living in a country that has an inside joke about it's standard time, it is quite easy to get lost in the peer pressure or be bullied into giving into the 'Indian Standard Time'. Do yourself a favour, by resisting the surrounding echo to stand out. Respect people and their time, specially when you are young and starting out. Nothing says unprofessional like being late. Now you may argue for the sheer sake of it that you being on time usually ends up making you wait, and you know what, that is OKAY! You are young and you have time, but all it takes is that one meeting which was supposed to be super important with a person you didn't realize is a sucker for punctuality, that you ended up being late for, and 'poof' you blew it!
While ghosting (the horrible act of ignoring someone virtually) is widely popular and convenient, limit it to your personal contacts (aka tinder flings). The minute you apply this pop culture trend to your professional life, you are in for a potential kick in the shin from the career’s cosmic karma (yes, it is a thing!) You may hate this annoying creature or maybe the creature managed to offend you, but you need to swallow that mighty ego and either sort it out or continue a professional repertoire regardless of the issue. The thing is, no matter who the person is, you never know where they will be tomorrow and you do not want to offend the creatures who might be influential one day and hold a grudge against you for being ghosted.
DON'T PLAY POLITICS
Unless you are a politician, just don’t! College & Office politics is the worst & everybody hates it. While agreed it is very difficult to resist, but apply all your might and be the virgin in a pool full of harlots. If your reputation get’s tarnished once because of the pointless politics that you thought was mighty clever of you, word WILL spread. So do not be self-destructive and stay away because we all know how much politicians are loathed.
DON'T JUST FAFF
We all know that one person who is good at only blabbering with nothing to show for all those hollow words. And while it stands as an impressive quality in some cases (marketing/PR) in other cases if all you do is talk because you are blessed with a wit and word-web weaving skill, if you don’t action that mighty speech of yours, the world will soon take notice and that oratory talent of yours will not be able to save your ass. Professionals do research and balance out words with equally impressive doings. Fact is that faffers end up getting fired while professionals end up getting promoted!
You may think you are being a sly fox, by passing those suggestive comments or forwarding memes with sexual innuendos or gesturing seductively, but you aren't, you're being as dumb as a turkey (yes they are highly stupid, look it up!). Top tier executive, mid level managers or entry level interns, fraternising with a romantic or sexual intent without consent is not appropriate. In fact, many work places have a policy against relationships within workplace. Also don't you dare call her/his lack of response as the ideal courtship situation because this is not the set of Suits & you are not Rachel or Mike. So stop being delusional and just do not flirt! Sexual Harassment at workplace is a very serious issue and you never know who takes offence to your so called 'harmless flirting' and reports you. Don't let all those senseless movies/shows fool you about the excitement of workplace romance. All the lying and hiding is tedious and you must avoid it to simplify your work life as well as personal life.
In addition to these specific rules, just be Nice! It's a simple quality but a rare one, we assure you. If you think being mean is the best way to act tough and get your way while climbing the ladder of success, it is not. Just be considerate towards others and avoid being a jerk. Niceness means more than you can possibly imagine and it doesn't equate to weakness in you were wondering. Being a good human will attract kindness and positive vibes from all around you and that will further your cause of success in life.
Now that you know what professionalism is & isn't all about, go on and apply it to your lives.
Good luck kids!