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Navigating through the early 21st-century workplace may be trickier than ever. With the United States’ competitive economy, companies are exploring new ways of creating exciting, motivating workplace environments. Despite this, professionalism continues to affect the workplace and is a crucial part of succeeding at work.
Dressing professionally in the workplace is significant because it shows you care about what you do. Consider what you wear for other important events such as a wedding or a sought after job interview: You dress your best to these types of activities because you are participating in something special -- your workplace should be no different. Observe what successful managers and executives at your place of work wear and follow their lead. This professionalism can often result in your being associated with this group of people simply because you look how they look, which can provide better future career opportunities.
Once employees are wearing their best, it implies they should be acting their best too. Although people often become comfortable at their place of employment, it is essential that employees continue to practice good manners. A simple “please,” “thank you,” and other polite statements are always beneficial because it fosters an environment of appreciation and professionalism. On the other hand, according to USAToday.com, poor manners, such as having a demanding attitude and constantly texting at work, can be detrimental to your career. These types of unprofessional habits inhibit your ability to create quality relationships, which are essential to your ability to advance at work.
With employees spending more and more time at the office, many people desire to create close, meaningful friendships with those they work with. A workplace full of friends can be very beneficial if professionalism remains intact because happy and engaged employees are more productive and profitable. However, emotions and attitudes are contagious, so unprofessional behavior between employees can negatively impact the workplace too. A common but very harmful and unprofessional act many participate in is gossiping. Gossip creates insecure and anxious employees who are likely to harbor resentment or fear and eventually leave. High turnover is costly to the company and often frustrating to the employees left behind who have to pick up the slack until a new person is hired and trained.
It is also imperative that healthy, professional supervisor-employee relationships be created and maintained in the workplace. Professional employees and bosses will resist the urge to overly complain. This may sound simple enough, but complaining has become a common practice with many people and at many places of work. Although a good supervisor will take an interest in your life -- and it will not always be filled with positivity -- a positive attitude and outlook is rare in today’s world and you do not want to be labeled as just another complainer. Being a person who is constantly looking for and talking about the good will set you apart from your co-workers, making you memorable when new responsibilities and projects become available.
Sydney Neely has worked in the education arena for more than 10 years, teaching general education, the arts, communication and finance. She holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from Arizona State University. Neely also holds several state and federal financial licenses in life insurance and investments (Series 6 and 63).