Professionalism is a word used to describe how one should behave and dress themselves to exhibit good manners and show good business sense. How a person comes to work and conduct themselves is a huge component related to work ethic (Wynd, 2003). Having a strong work ethic often suggests that a person will produce high-quality work and take pride in doing a great job.
In healthcare, professionalism is imperative due to the changing nature of work and care being provided (Akhtar-Danesh, 2013). Therefore, there are multiple definitions of professionalism in nursing. Professionalism is not new to the workforce however many professions struggle with encouraging and ensuring employees know what is acceptable in the workplace (Blythe, 2008). Without a standard to be held accountable to many professional businesses would not be sufficient to provide care for the public.
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In healthcare, professional etiquette is one of the major influences contributing to a positive career (Blythe, 2008). Personal interactions with a variety of people require the healthcare professional to have respectable relationships with everyone they encounter. Being empathetic and kind is one of the key factors in developing a patient’s confidence and trust.
Having a bedside manner is also a key component in professionalism as a healthcare professional (Akhtar-Danesh, 2013). Patient safety is the main priority and when there is a breach of professionalism it can leave many patients at risk. However, when these commitments are not met healthcare professionals face malpractice suits, abuse cases, and fraud.
Characteristics of Professionals
The traits of professionalism may vary from one person to the next however honesty is one of the first traits. No one wants to work with someone who is untrustworthy. Lying about situations that could potentially cause a patient their life is unacceptable in the workplace. Additionally, having respect for others in all situations while also being courteous shows maturity (Jeroen Postma, 2015).
As an employee taking advice and criticism without feelings of disdain can demonstrate respect. Verbal or physical abuse of any kind is not acceptable in the workplace. Without respect, an employee will not have relationships with coworkers or patients. Respect must be shown to every individual in the workplace.
Also, professionals exhibit a willingness to take on projects and always have the best interest of the patient at heart. A great attitude will make work more enjoyable while also having good humor and being able to laugh at self no matter the situation at hand (Wynd, 2003). Conduct is a huge component of professionalism due to the high standards healthcare professionals are held. An employee should conduct themselves in a way that reflects their profession.
Ethics should always be held and followed while also maintaining confidentiality pertaining to patient’s records. A professional encompasses self-awareness, social skills, and self-confidence. This includes displaying leadership skills and decision-making abilities (Wynd, 2003). Lastly, a professional continues to seek out resources necessary to remain competitive in their field of study.
Over the last fifteen years’ business attire has changed significantly. Many have long forgotten then the importance of proper professional attire (Saiki, 2006). Dressing in the proper business attire presents a visual image and conveys the message that employees are professional. In creative working environments, the rules on the professional dress are not as strict and employees tend to dress more freely and comfortably (Cardon, 2009).
However, many companies typically require a more professional dress code to preserve the professional atmosphere in which employees interact frequently with patients, clients, and business partners.
Problems arise when employees choose to dress comfortably or in the most recent styles because this does not portray the professional image for the business (Cardon, 2009). Also, impromptu business meetings occur all the time and professional business attire should be worn during this time.
During business meetings, your image should always be professional, this could make or break a very important business deal. The image presented to an outsider will be the image they’ll always remember.
The dress code for men is typically limited when it comes to clothes acceptable in a professional setting. Depending on the setting men are normally recommended to wear ironed trousers, dress shirts, and polished shoes (Twenge, 2008). The styles should stay conservative with limited colors. However, these rules will not apply to the male working in a more creative environment where there is more freedom compared to business locations.
It is also recommended that men receive a clean shave and well-groomed hair. Showing up to work with unruly hair is a sign of sloppiness and does not make a good impression on other workers. It is very important to remember to brush teeth and clean the nails (Cardon, 2009). Clothes should never be dirty or wrinkled as this presents a very sloppy appearance. While these are some of the basic elements they tend to be overlooked in many business locations.
In the business setting, women are required to dress conservatively in either a dress suit, skirt, pants, business style dresses. Neutral shades such as brown, white, and black are less flamboyant and should be considered. Women should always avoid short skirts or shirts that show off too much cleavage (Twenge, 2008). As this could be perceived as a sign of disrespect and maybe even sexual harassment in certain situations.
Be mindful of the companies’ policies when it comes to hair color, nails, makeup, and accessories. When in doubt of a piece of clothing always remember to cover up. Some items that should never be worn in the workplace include sneakers, flip flops, low-waist pants, jingly jewelry, heels that clank, shorts, tracksuits, fishnets, animal print, negligees, and heavy perfume (Twenge, 2008).
What is GDPR? General Data Protection Regulation is what the European Commission has created. This was first raised in January 2012 to redo the data protection act across the European Union. The main reason for redoing the system was to make Europe a better ‘fit for the digital age’. Since 2012, an agreement was reached in December 2015 and it details what is involved and how it will be enforced.
Since this has been applied to all countries within the European Union, it has affected businesses and individuals all over. Even though an agreement was settled at the end of 2015, it was not fully implemented until May 2018 and all nations were expected to have it in their own national law by 6 May 2018.
Also, since the UK is set to leave the EU soon, the UK government has stated that “this won’t impact GDPR being enforced in the country and GDPR will work for the benefit of the UK”. If you break down what GDPR really stands for, it is just a new set of rules designed to give EU citizens more control over their personal data. It tries to favor businesses and individuals in terms of the digital economy so everyone is being treated fairly.
The European Union designed this reform to reflect the world we’re living in today. With this, it brings laws and obligations. This includes anyone who stores information, such as personal data. Also, the current way the world is going, nearly everywhere we go or anything we do, it all revolves around data. A few of the ways data is accessed is through social media, banks, retail shops, and government procedures.
Many companies had to prepare for the GDPR implementation, there were checklists that companies provided to help make sure that you were completely secure and safe when this new law was placed. These steps are what most companies would have taken to ensure they are not going to get any penalties; Map your company’s data. This is where the organization would map all their personal data in the entire business and document what they did with the data.
Find the easiest way to access and store the information with it still being very secure. Also, they would have had to make sure they knew who could access it and ensure no one gets unauthorized access. Don’t keep unnecessary data, one of the rules in the GDPR is that it will encourage a more disciplined treatment of personal data. Along with knowing who can access the data, the organizations had to put security measures in place.
This could include more security to reduce the change of a data breach and it can also include quick methods to let individuals and authorities know. Since this has been implemented, people who fail to comply with this new law obviously must pay a penalty for breaking the law. Before it gets anywhere near close to a fine, there is a range of different stages to go through.
These include warnings and reprimands which is when you impose a temporary or permanent ban on data processing, ordering the rectification, restriction, or reassure of data, and suspending data transfers to third countries. All of these could completely ruin a business. When it comes to fines, there are two tiers.
The first is; ‘Up to 10 Million Euros or 2% annual global turnover – whichever is higher’ and the second is; ‘Up to 20 Million Euros or 4% annual global turnover – whichever is higher. ’ These fines are discretionary and not mandatory, they must be imposed on a case-by-case basis and must be ‘effective, proportionate, and dissuasive. ’ The fines are calculated depending on what article the organization has breached.
Infringements of the organization’s obligations, including data security breaches, will be given a lower level of punishment. However, if infringements of an individual’s privacy rights are breached, then the organization will be subject to a higher-level punishment. When it comes to personal security for individuals and the public, there are many benefits. Some of these include; the right to access.
This means that the individual has the right to request access to their own personal data from a company after it has been gathered. The company needs to provide you with this information, if they don’t, they are not complying with GDPR. They are also allowed to be forgotten, this is when a customer contacts a company to withdraw their information for whatever reason, the company must comply with this request. If the individual wants to transfer any of their information from one service provider to another, they are capable to do so with GDPR.
Companies must let customers know before any information is gathered and customers have the right to withdraw but if the consumer wants their information stored, they must opt-in for it to be gathered in the first place. Individuals can request that their data is not used for processing, their record can remain with the organization but cannot be used. Finally, one of the most major issues is that the customer must be told if there has been any sort of data breach within a company that compromises the individual’s personal data. The organization must be informed within 72 hours of the original breach.
To conclude, since everything in the current day is getting more and more technology dependant, data is something that has always been attached to technology and the government will do all they can to protect companies and individuals from being ‘used’ against personal data abuse. You can really tell what a good company is compared to a bad company since GDPR has been implemented.
Companies who show they value a customer’s privacy and who are transparent about how their data is being used and when, will always have a better relationship with the individual compared to companies who don’t tell you anything, let alone a data breach. However, even though many companies are settled and have adapted to the new laws of GDPR, there are still many smaller organizations that are still trying to get away with not complying, which will always end in a bad way.
Example #3 – Professional Sports
Due to the greediness of sports figures, professional athletes are not punished in the same manner as other professionals are. It is like they are in a completely different group that uses an entirely different set of morals. Team owners care more about making their money than they do about setting a good example for young kids and making pro sports fun again rather than a business.
Three good examples of this greediness are Roberto Alomar, Curtis Joseph, and Dennis Rodman. Team owners and their respective leagues need to do something to turn this situation around before they have murderers and rapists playing sports for millions of dollars a year.
Roberto Alomar makes 5.5 million dollars a year due to his stellar defense and five Gold Gloves. He is one of the majors? best all-around players and destined for the Hall of Fame, but he has performed one of the most unthinkable acts in all of the sports. In a 1996 playoff game, Alomar was up to bat and then Umpire (John Hirschbeck) called Alomar out on strikes.
Alomar went back to the dugout where he started to argue the call with Hirschbeck who finally tossed Alomar. Oriole?s manager (Davey Johnson) along with Alomar went racing to the home plate to argue the ejection. As Alomar was being pushed away by Johnson, he spat at Hirschbeck.
Alomar was suspended for five games, which was to be served at the beginning of the 1997 season, so he could continue to play in the playoffs. In my opinion, this act was indefensible and warranted a stiffer penalty than a five-game suspension. Major league umpires threatened to strike during the playoffs due to Alomar’s behavior and inadequate punishment. I believe that the league did not suspend Alomar during the playoffs because he is such a high profile player that he brings in enough money for the league that officials felt they could justify their actions.
Curtis Joseph is one of the premier goalies in the league a favorite among fans and the media and on his way to getting the Vezina Trophy for the best goaltender in the NHL. He is currently leading the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup playoffs but in a recent game, he lost his concentration and his temper. In a recent playoff game, an Ottawa Senators player was bumped into Joseph and the go-ahead goal was scored. Joseph stormed out of the net and collided with the ref knocking him to the ice.
In the NHL rulebook if a player makes contact with an official they will be suspended and punished by the league. In this case, Joseph received no suspension and no fine and the league didn’t even review the play. Since it’s the playoffs and Curtis is a star player he wasn’t punished and didn’t even get a minor penalty in-game. In a similar play, Ottawa Sen?s player Andre Roy shoved an official aside in a much less harmful incident but received a three-game suspension mainly because he is a minor player.
Dennis Rodman, the National Basketball Association’s bad boy, is notorious for getting in trouble. On January 15, 1997, the game, Rodman lost his balance after going for a rebound. He fell into a row of photographers where he kicked one of the photographers in the groin. The photographer, who doubled over in pain, was removed on a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital. Rodman only received an eleven-game suspension, was fined $25,000 by the league, and ordered to get counseling.
Compared with millions of dollars in salary, he is paid a year for playing basketball that fine is just a slap on the wrist. That fine is less than one percent of his annual salary. Someone who makes $30,000 a year would be fined more for littering. Attorney Fred Wiesman compared Rodman?s behavior to that of Major League Baseball player, Albert Belle, when he said, “It’s the same bullying, arrogant, obnoxious behavior. This is not the way reasonable people should conduct themselves”
All of the situations mentioned proving one point. Professional sports are corrupt and need to have a serious facelift when it comes to punishment. Roberto Alomar should have at least been suspended immediately rather than the owners allowing him to continue playing, lessening the severity of his actions. Curtis Joseph shouldn’t get special treatment just because he’s an all-star and a fan favorite. All players should face the same punishment and follow the rules that are in the rulebook. Lastly, Dennis Rodman should be the reason the NBA does not allow violent people into their league.
In my opinion, Dennis Rodman does not do anything but degrade professional basketball and himself with his actions, thank god someone stood up and decided to kick him off their team. If something is not done soon, professional athletics will crumble due to lack of support and former team owners will have to turn to illegal activities like some of their players to make money.
Example #4 – Why Professionalism Is Important In The Nursing Field
Professionalism is important because it is a reflection of not just myself but the school or company I am representing. I understand how important it is to reflect Concorde in a positive way when going to clinical and on campus. At times, events in life may happen that cause someone to behave inappropriately.
Due to increased stress by balancing ways to conquer the demands of studying and staying sane. Regardless of the circumstances, all matters should be handled professionally. One must learn better ways to manage stress and anxiety. For example, meditating, yoga, or going for a walk can reduce stress.
Nursing is one of the oldest and most respected fields, nurses have been known to provide care and sympathy to families during hard times. So, when you hear of stories in the news in regard to nurses taking advantage of patients and these unprofessional instances are not only hard to hear but also unbelievable. Nurses must adhere to professional standards of conduct. Acting below the standards that have been expected of one is inexcusable.
We expect our patients to treat us with respect, and we know that we must give respect. Patients deserve a professional, competitive nurse. Who even at times, under an immense about of pressure, must still be professional. In the year spent in the nursing program, a student learns many things that are useful later in life.
The teachers are the ones enabling students with skills to use in the workforce. With the information gained from teachers, we can later develop in nursing equipped with the skills needed to strive in the workforce. We have the opportunity to work with skilled nurses and receive valuable teaching from very experienced educators. This is also why I am striving to be the best nursing student possible because I know these experiences will help me to have the patience and self-control that is required when working as a nurse. Sometimes the consequences to the actions of behaving unprofessionally can be dire.
Another reason professionalism is important in the nursing field is to prevent any possible lawsuits. The medical field is held at such a high standard that if the slightest comment or incorrect handling of a patient or medicine could result in legal action. Professionalism also means ensuring that you are following all the hospital rules to minimize the charge of these legal actions. They are taken extremely seriously and will follow you for the entirety of your nursing career.
Discussing another teacher to anyone except that teacher is unprofessional. Even when we may feel like we need a different opinion regarding a subject. The matter should first be taken up with that teacher. It’s only fair that the teacher gets an opportunity to address the concerns. Unfortunately, yelling in a classroom does not get one’s point across effectively.
The information received may become misinterpreted. A good student must learn the appropriate setting to discuss any concerns. Even receiving help from other students, is at times unprofessional. Teachers are widely available to assist in any issues that may arise. Concorde provides a wide variety of resources readily available.
When the time comes to discuss why a decision was made in that fashion, it’s unacceptable to admit to your professor that you were unable to be in control of your emotions. One must remain professional at all times. There are numerous professional ways to address any issues or concerns. You can send a professional email with a greeting, subject line, and appropriate signature at the end. Communication with instructors should reflect professionalism as well.
I must adhere to professional standards of conduct throughout all aspects of the nursing program. Regardless of the level of difficulty and the amount of work, acting below the standards that have been expected of one is inexcusable. When professionalism is not displayed in the hospital setting it can take away the patients’ confidence in the level of skill and service that is being provided. No matter what a nurse is personally going through during her day, the patients still require the best.
I know that if I was in a patients’ shoes and a nurse behaved in a nonprofessional way I would worry about a possible mistake in the receiving of my treatment. It is important for me to convey myself in a manner that speaks to the level of service I am providing. It is important that nurses convey a confident and professional attitude that allows us to comfort the patient to the best of our abilities.
Example #5 – Professional football in America
The game of professional football in America began, not with a single person s conception but rather as a gradual evolution. From soccer to rugby, to rugby- football, and finally to football ( Camp 1). In the year 1823, according to record, a student at Rugby school (William Webb Ellis) picked up the soccer ball during a game and ran with it.
This action was strictly forbidden by the rules, but it shed some light on new ideas to come forth ( Ask 1). Over the years, independent thinking Americans wrote rules that would eventually overhaul the traditional style of rugby, and then rugby-football was born.
On the day of April 17, 1859, in New Haven, Connecticut a child named Walter Camp was born, he would later emerge as the major founding father of the game. Even though many say there is no single inventor of the game, many still agree that he is the father of American Football for his many new additions and innovations that shaped the game as we know it today ( Camp 1).
In 1880 he had the first of these breakthroughs. He wanted one team to have undisputed possession of the ball until that side gave it up under their own violation. This was passed by the rules convention (probably the main forerunner to the NCAA) along with the reduction of each side s players from fifteen to eleven. Another of his ideas was passed again on October 12, 1882, in which a team had three downs to advance the ball at least five yards.
Then in 1894 games were shortened from a monstrous 150 minutes to a mere 70. And in 1912 Camp decided to change point values because of several problems in the past. Such as the incident in the Harvard-Princeton game in 1882, Harvard scored a touchdown, missed the goal but later kicked a goal from the field. Meanwhile, Princeton scored a touchdown and successfully kicked the point after.
The referee, a Yale man, gave the win to Harvard. Princeton, claiming the rules did not justify that, refused to accept that and claimed victory for years afterward ( Camp 6). So the values were changed, a touchdown was now six points instead of four, field goals went down from five points to three. Again in 1912, the rules committee decided to change a little more about the game. The field was now one hundred yards and the offense had four downs (instead of three) to advance the ball ten yards instead of five.
Some say when all was said and done and Walter Camp finally stopped the game was forever changed into the unique sport that it has become. Historically, the NFL began in 1920, but it’s beginnings were in 1915 with the arrival of Jim Thorpe. Jim Thorpe was considered one of the greatest athletes of his time. Many tend to remember him as a great kicker and little else about his playing ability.
There is much more. Physically, he was perfect for his time. At 6 1 and 195 to 205 pounds he was bigger than most linemen of his day. He was extremely strong. His favorite running maneuver in an open field was to lower his shoulder and drive himself into the defender.
Then at the moment of impact, he would lift and peel back the defender. A generation later, Bronko Nagurski used the same style. Yet Thorpe was also a dashing man on the Carlisle track team, and his speed on a football field enabled him to break away for long runs. He was an evasive runner, but probably not so much as Red Grange. However, his combination of power and his explosive speed made him a more versatile runner than either Grange or Nagurski ( Ask 4).
Then on August 20, 1920, leaders of the four best Ohio League teams met to discuss forming a national professional football league. The attendees included Ralph Hay and Jim Thorpe from the Canton Bulldogs, Frank Neid, and Art Ranney from the Akron pros, Jimmy O Donnell, and Stan Cofall from the Cleveland Tigers, and Carl Storck of the Dayton Triangles. Buffalo, Rochester, and Hammond applied for membership by letter. The result of this meeting was the American Professional Football Conference ( NFL 3) With the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s, the NFL went from 26 teams down to a mere eight. 1932 is when the first playoff game occurred. The Chicago Bears
and Portsmouth both ended the season with 6-1 records (ties were not counted). Then league president Joe Carr set up a playoff game to determine the championship. Chicago won ( NFL 5). The 1940s were tough on the NFL. In 1939, league president, Joe Carr died. Carl Storck was interim president until Elmer Layden (head coach and athletic director at Notre Dame) took over. Layden was the first commissioner.
The position of president was abolished when Layden took over. World War II obviously had an effect on the league. Most players were involved in the war in some way, whether drafted or working in war plants. The Cleveland Rams suspended play in 1943 and the Steelers and Eagles merged to form what is called the Steagles. They played four games in each city. In 1945, Bert Bell replaced Elmer Layden as League Commissioner. The idea of an NFL players union started in the 1950s.
In November 1956, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) was started. Labor discussions included a minimum salary of $5000 a year for each player, clubs must pay for the equipment, and a clause in the standard player contract to continue paying in the event of injury. The 1950s ended with the death of commission Bert Bell. He was later replaced by Pete Rozelle as his successor. In the 1960s several changes occurred to the NFL. The Chicago Cardinals ( a charter NFL team) moved to St. Louis. Four new teams were added -Atlanta, Dallas, Minnesota, and New Orleans.
The 12 game schedule was increased to fourteen games. Also, the emergence of the American Football League had a serious impact on the NFL. And in 1963 the NFL Hall of Fame was opened with 17 charter members: Sammy Baugh, Bert Bell, Joe Carr, Earl Clark, Red Grange, George Halas, Mel Hein, Wilbur Henry, Cal Hubbard, Don McNally, Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, and Jim Thorpe. Canton, Ohio was selected for the site it ( NFL 8). The 1970s were highlighted by the start of Monday Night Football. The first game was between the New York Jets and the Cleveland Brown. Football had changed forever. Also in the 1970s, the Miami Dolphins had the first (and only) undefeated season in NFL history.
And in 1973 O.J. Simpson ran for 2000 yards in a single season, a first for any running back in NFL history. In the same year, he broke Jim Brown s old record of 1,863 yards. The 1980s were marred by not only one, but two-player strikes. The first came in 1982. The stoppage forced the league to shorten it’s the season to nine games. Then, in 1987, the players went on strike again. This time, the owners replaced the striking players with scabs. Both of these strikes were over free agency.
The collective-bargaining agreement signed to the end of the strike of 1987 allowed restricted player movement in exchange for a salary cap. The 1980s were also known for the class of 83. Six quarterbacks were selected in the first round draft: John Elway, Todd Blackledge, Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, Ken O Brien, and Dan Marino. Interestingly enough, all were selected by AFC teams. At the March 22, 1989, NFL annual meeting, commissioner Pete Rozelle announced his retirement.
His replacement was announced on October 26, 1989: Paul Tagliabue. The collective bargaining agreement signed in 1993 gave the players what they were seeking: free agency. There were a few restrictions on player movement. Classifications were devised depending on years of service in the league. There was also a salary cap, including a rookie salary cap. Still, players with over five years of experience were allowed to sign with any team.
The game is still changing today, Just last week’s instant replay was reinstated and it will be in place for one season before being revisited next year at this time. It was last in effect from 1986 to 1991 ( Instantly 1). Who knows what the future holds for this ever-changing and evolving game.
Professionalism and ethics are key factors in a job setting. These two aspects work hand in hand. Engineering is a no different case. Ethics seeks to evaluate deeply moral aspects. It entails the practices that the staff carries out in an establishment. It incorporates; good value, code of conduct, moral value, principles, and virtues. The ethics enable one to outlay professionalism in undertaking his engineering career.
Professional ethics helps a lot in proficiency and comprehending problems encountered in this field. Ethics assists one to know the good and bad sides of a person in a work setting. Engineering ethics are the codes of the standard applied in the field of engineering. These ethics portray good conduct in professional engineers.
In accordance with the innovation in science and technology, one needs to uphold high moral standards in terms of principles and practices. It concentrates on doing the right action without inconveniencing other parties. In engineering, one needs guidelines that propel him or her to succeed in this field. The guidelines are set values that give the ability to make correct choices, decisions, and actions. Not all values are equal.
It all depends on the perception of a person and his/her experience. One can modify and create beliefs that define his identity. Thus he may hold characters such as social skills, peace among co-workers, truth, and honesty. Perseverance, discernment, and accuracy are also values that one needs to have in order to relay services professionally. This boosts his moral behavior and upholds professional skills.
In addition to values and morals, a professional needs work ethics. These ethics ought to be principled and easy to interpret. Employing attitudes of work value will need a lot of motivation in order to succeed. This goes a long way to increase productivity and overall performance in engineering.
In the workplace, the relationship between co-workers and employees in the organization depends heavily on ethics. The engineers tactfully apply the code of ethics to tackle problems encountered in the field. The engineer should offer a high standard of service to the client. He should work towards achieving set objectives as part of strengthening his skills in the profession (Naagarazan 41).
Moral issues may arise at certain times in an organization. This will require one to apply professionalism to tackle such issues. Issues such as resource crouch may lead one to be manipulated and unethical termination of projects. Another issue is applying double standards in making decisions and selection of projects.
The management may seek to fulfill their interest more than the employees. The employees may develop a poor attitude toward providing services to consumers.
These issues can be sorted through normative inquiry where norms are used to guide the employees and the management to run the organization. The management should come in strongly to offer a neutral field for the implementation of these norms.
Another way of curbing moral issues is by conceptual inquiry where all the employees are directed and informed of the concepts and principles. The factual or descriptive inquiry is another way to solve the moral issues arising in an organization. This inquiry provides information about the practices and effectiveness of the system.
When one upholds professionalism he or she expects to be loyal to the organization, have a high level of integrity, be knowledgeable, and apply tact in undertaking tasks of the organization. He should be a social catalyst and serve the management and other employees without biasness.
The professional conduct helps to gain trust in the public and improve professional development (Naagarazan 39). Professionalism in the public domain determines how resources and other activities are carried out. A professional will bear the responsibility for his work in the sense that he becomes liable and accountable for the action he takes in the organization. By carrying out his duty well, he gets appraisal from the management due to his success.
A competent professional will strive to meet the requirement of the client. It is highly recommended that client confidentiality be observed. This is also part of professionalism since the client builds trust in the employee.
Other attributes of a competent professional are to respect the management and other employees as well as the client. Courtesy when communicating to the client will boost confidence in the engineer from the client perspective. They should also be ready to offer services to a diverse population.
The employee should avoid fraud and misuse of resources at all times. Above all discipline is very important. In a sum up professionalism is the equality of being honest and faithful to the profession. Always honor the law and observe the rules and regulations of the State.
Professionalism may be hindered by a number of factors such as poverty levels and a high level of illiteracy in society. Most engineers may take advantage of these situations in society and offer substantial services to them. To curb this situation the engineers should be given adequate remuneration to refrain them from exploiting the less fortunate (Philip 74). Professionalism and ethics work hand in hand.
For one to be a successful professional he or she needs to have all the ethical values and virtues. Successful engineers are as a result of the moral behaviors and work ethics they endorse in their day to day undertaking. If these ethics are advocated world wide then the world will absolutely have more engineers who are professionally fit.
Professionalism is defined by the dictionaries as the “expertness characteristic of a professional” or the “pursuit of an activity as an occupation”. We often talk about the quality of what we do and measure the professionalism of our work against others – although we often use different terms the overall meaning is Alice’s work is more professional than Bob’s.
So in Software, what is professionalism about?
Or what should it be about? We’re in the business of writing software. Product centric software houses are measured on the professionalism of their product – how robust Windows is, or how quickly the menus respond in Word. The professionalism of mass-market products is quantifiable and has a close relationship with the usability and non-functional performance of the product. In-office environments all over the world people’s only exposure to Microsoft is the software; many will never see a CD, box, or manual – only the application.
But in the bespoke software industry or services companies, the measures often seem very different.
Is it important to wear a suit and tie? Social convention is that professionals dress smartly, suited, and booted as a good friend of mine says. But does this level of formality have a positive or negative impact on the quality of the resulting software? It appears to have a negative impact; making the dress formal makes the meeting formal which makes the communication formal and formality takes precedence over clarity, exploration, and debate.
Psychology Today has a very short comment on the subject pointing out that less formal dress leads to less formal discussion and more innovative and explorative communication; a better bond and trust between participants. Surely that clearer communication leads to better requirements, clearer priorities, more consistent decisions, and ultimately better software.
Is it important that all documents are formatted to look the same and are structured in the same way? While branding is definitely a key part of a professional image, is dictating section headings down to 4 levels positive or negative? Having read through a good number of design documents recently it appears that dictating structure in this way has a major negative impact.
Rather than really considering what information is needed by the audience of the document the template leads us to adopt a “fill in the form” mentality in which we consider only the heading we’re writing, for now, failing to consider the document as a whole. This means that irrelevant details get included for the sake of having something under a heading and major points are lost in the noise or missed out altogether.
Is the language of communication important? Of course, always, everyone knows that. But what is ‘professional language’. Recently I’ve been told that humor in documents is unprofessional and that everything must be written in the third person. What bearing do these factors have on the quality of the end product? Joel On Software talks about humor [sic] in documents in a sensible way.
He points out that the purpose of the document is to communicate the information it contains. If the document is difficult to read, dry and formal then it will not communicate to the best of its ability. This will lower the quality of the end result; the software.
Let’s try applying those measures to a different industry… You call a plasterer, he arrives in a suit, spends two hours documenting your requirements then leaves. Two weeks later a document arrives in the post; the document is beautifully bound and has a long list of other plasterers who have reviewed the document. “The Dining Room of (number) 352 Your Street, located on the ground floor at the front of the house, entrance off the hall, from hereon referred to as the room, is to be plastered using Plaster Supplies grade A plaster product mixed at a ratio of no less than 1 part plaster to 10 parts common tap water, to be provided by the customer on request from Joe Plasterer, or equivalent representative thereof…”. You sign the document; with no idea of the correctness of the product selection or the mixing ratios of plaster. The plasterer arrives and does the work, your room is plastered, you pay him, he leaves, you’re happy.
Now, what criteria do you judge him on? No plasterer in the world works this way because you judge him on the quality of his plastering and possibly a few other aspects of his approach, like his respect for you and your home. Ultimately, what you care about is the quality of the plastering.
So in our industry what is professionalism? I think it’s the courage to do the things that will result in more professional software; that’s what we’re being paid to produce, after all.
Professionalism manifests itself in a number of different ways: the way you speak, your dress, general behavior, your approach to problem-solving and inter-personal relations.
The essence of business is that you are always selling something, first and foremost yourself. If you cannot do this, then it doesn’t matter what else you hope to sell.
Speaking, dressing, and behaving in a business-like fashion (i.e. ‘professionally’) conveys to peers, superiors, and clients that you are a person to be taken seriously and afforded respect; that you are a decision-maker, problem-solver: leader.
Firstly, learn to speak well. Nothing conveys professionalism better, or more quickly than the spoken word. And learn how to write. Do this, and people will take notice.
Next: contrary to what others may have told you, to be ‘professional’ you don’t need to be serious and perpetually wear a frown. Indeed, a sense of humor can be an invaluable tool in business.
Wearing a suit isn’t always necessary either. Let your business environment determine that. And always remember the old adage that says: ‘Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.’. If you don’t NEED to wear a tie, or a dress, do it anyway. If you’re a garage mechanic or a shop-girl, come to work scrubbed and in clean clothes every day. Dress like your boss dresses (or better, if it comes to that). Being the lowest common denominator in anything, won’t get you ahead.
Above all, be considerate of people – co-workers and clients both. Co-operative working relationships pay the greatest dividends over time. A good character is the best form of professional etiquette, and the easiest to spot.
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