The modern workplace is diverse. After you get a job, you must demonstrate to your employer and your co-workers that you are a professional in every sense of the word, yet knowing what professionalism looks like is not always easy. This guide will help you know how you can display professionalism at work.

What Is Professionalism in the Workplace?

Professionalism in the workplace refers to the way in which employees carry themselves, the attitudes they convey, and the ways they communicate with their co-workers and clients. In other words, it is the conduct, attitude, and behavior of a worker. From your first day on the job to the day you retire, and sometimes even afterward, you need to be aware of the quality of your workplace professionalism. Here are some dos and don’ts that will help you showcase the right behavior at your place of employment.

How to Demonstrate Professional Behavior in the Workplace

So, what can you do to demonstrate professional behavior in the workplace? Some tips that can help you demonstrate professionalism include:

1. Being on Time

Arrive on time to work and make it to meetings when they are scheduled. This shows that your job is important to you. If you struggle with punctuality and want to be sure you can be on time, try to show up a little early. Prepare for unforeseen delays.

2. Keeping a Good Attitude

A good, positive attitude is important in the workplace. If you’re having a bad day, leave it at the door. Your feelings are valid, but they are not the responsibility of your boss or your co-workers. Worse, you should never take out your bad day on your clients. Positivity is contagious, so stay positive at work to keep those around you positive, too.

3. Dressing the Part

If your workplace has a dress code, follow it. Ensure your appearance is neat and clean, going above and beyond the minimum expected of you. If you do not have a dress code, look at what others are wearing  and present yourself as a neat and tidy example of that kind of attire.

4. Being Trustworthy

If you are given a task to do, get it done. Hold yourself accountable and be receptive to feedback and constructive criticism. If you take an action, be responsible for the action and its potential consequences. Be the kind of worker your team can rely on to do the job and do it well.

5. Seeking to Improve

You will always have room to grow in your business. Make sure you are taking opportunities to grow. You will grow through experience and through self-development. If the opportunity arises to get more education in your field, take advantage of it. Keep your skills up-to-date and your knowledge valid as you grow in your work.

6. Showing Strong Ethics

Finally, always have a high level of ethics in your work. Stay within the accepted moral code and follow the code of conduct for your organization. Never perform any questionable acts within the business. Be the kind of person people can trust to do the right thing, no questions asked.

Examples of a Lack of Professionalism in the Workplace

Just as there are things you should always do to exude professionalism in the workplace, there are some actions you can take that will instantly make you look like less of a professional. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Avoid Foul Language

Inappropriate language and swearing have no place in a professional workplace. Even if you hear others around you using foul language, you should present a more professional image. There may be someone in your workplace or a client who is offended by such talk, even if you are not.

2. Stay Away from Gossip

Gossip is common in the workplace, but it makes you look unprofessional. When you hear stories about co-workers, keep them to yourself unless the situation has a direct impact on your work. If it does, then enlist the help of your supervisor.

3. Don't Hide from Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes in the workplace, and especially when you work in healthcare, mistakes can have major consequences. While it can be scary to accept your mistakes, it is an important part of professionalism. Never blame others for your errors. Take responsibility and correct what you can.

4. Avoid Lying at All Costs

Lying in the workplace can easily get you fired, so don’t do it. You will actually make the situation worse if you lie about a mistake or problem.

5. Use Caution with Oversharing

If you are someone who likes to talk, be careful at work. It's easy to fall into the trap of oversharing your personal information. First, make sure the person you talk to is safe to share with, and second, make sure that you do not share too much information. Anything you share can get spread around the office, and it can hurt your professionalism.

6. Don’t Talk About Work on Social Media

Finally, make sure you do not talk about work on social media beyond an occasional “great day at work” type posts. Never share company secrets or vent about your job on a social media platform or over email. These actions will hurt you and will make you appear highly unprofessional. If they are severe enough, they could even get you fired.

CHCP’s Career Services

If you are interested in a career in healthcare and want to prepare yourself to enter the healthcare workforce, then consider The College of Health Care Professions for your educational training. Our programs are designed to help prepare you with a healthcare-specific education and provide instruction in how to maintain a high level of professionalism and exhibit proper professional etiquette. Our career services will also help you learn to portray a professional image as you look for your first position after graduation. Once you have your new job, we are here to help you remember proper workplace professionalism as you move forward in your career.

Browse our available programs today, then reach out to an admissions advisor to learn how you can take advantage of CHCP and our flexible degree and certificate programs. With our help, you can learn how to show professionalism in the workplace.