In a previous article, we discussed the imposter syndrome; it’s a common affliction which leaves the sufferer with persistent feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. It’s not always easy to put those feelings to rest but by addressing how best we can conduct ourselves as professionals, we will probably whittle away some of those insecurities and maybe even manage to revive our focus and drive. Here are a few of the most professional traits you can have or strive to have in order to give your career that extra boost it needs when you feel like you’ve hit a slump.
Take Pride in Your Work
You may be questioning what lead you down your current career path but regardless of how you got there, everything you work on, take part in or oversee is stamped with your name on it (albeit in varying sizes). When your emails don’t make sense, your work isn’t well thought through and you forget the finishing touches, you lead those around you to believe that you do not take pride in your work. Without this essential ingredient, your colleagues are less likely to take you or your ideas seriously and see you as a professional; of course, if no one is taking you seriously your job becomes a continuous and uninspiring uphill battle. It all starts with that one important factor – pride.
Never Stop Learning
We’ve said it before and we will keep saying it; if you stop learning you are inviting stagnation and run the risk of becoming irrelevant in the workplace. When you take an active interest in your chosen field and find faster, easier ways to solve problems, your value as an employee will increase. Whats more, beyond the mundane monotony of work, if you refuse to keep learning and improving; someone younger, smarter and cooler will do a better job than you can.
Lend a Hand
Remember that tired old adage, ‘there’s no I in team’? Well its especially noticeable when someone in the team refuses to help out where they can. Picture this, the new kid’s laptop has crashed, he or she is frantic and you know who they can call to get the problem fixed… but instead of telling them to speak to Sbu in IT; you watch them struggle. Don’t do that, never be that person, it’s just unprofessional. Help people when and where you can, in the end the whole team benefits and you help to build healthy work relationships with your team members and ultimately win their respect and trust.
Love Your Job
Well yes, some days its easier said than done but for the most part, your love for what you do is what will get you through when you’re tired, stressed or temporarily disinterested. If you need to reorganise your schedule, your workload or responsibilities in order to find the love again, speak to your boss or line manager and do it. When you lose the love you may as well pack up your desk and leave. When you love what you do you are more productive, energetic and resilient to stress. Besides, who wants to spend upwards of 40 hours a week doing something they don’t enjoy? If you don’t love what you currently do, its time to find something that you do love.
Finish What You Start
Sometimes you just run out of steam on certain projects. It’s not ideal but there are times when too many things have gone wrong and the demands of the project are just too high, it may become a factor which leads us to contemplate giving up. If you’ve never been pushed to your limits you probably haven’t thought about ditching your responsibilities and just quitting. It happens to everyone at some point but what makes you a professional is your ability to push through and finish what you started. Finding and successfully using those reserves to complete the last stretch of a difficult project are what make you a professional through and through.
Now you know how to be better, how to summon your professional superpowers and how to earn the respect that we all crave in the workplace. It’s rarely as simple as we’ve made it out to be but these are some important characteristics that you will need to bear in mind if you are reaching for the stars.