Professionalism…Why It Matters [At Every Level]

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If you’re reading this article on LinkedIn or a similar forum, you have probably had so many articles on professionalism, networking, and resumes pop up on your news feed that your eyes glaze over when you see them. And while these words have in a sense been all but turned into buzzwords, that doesn’t mean that they are any less important today than they were before the rise of the social media posts that brought increased visibility to the topic. So, whether you are two or 20 years into your career, professionalism matters because it is the message you are sending to those around you at work about how you feel about not only your peers, but also the organization, and your position in it. Here’s why:
Why it matters on a personal level: Professionalism helps others help you. Regardless if someone is going out of their way to help you as an employee, colleague, mentor or applicant, they are more likely to go the extra mile to help those they know will always put their best foot forward. Employees who are highly professional often have a greater level of trust placed in them, which can make the difference between an individual or organization deciding to vouch for someone as it is ultimately a reflection of their own judgement as well. After all, your boss is less likely to recommend you for a promotion in another department if they aren’t sure that you will show up on time for the interview.
Why it matters on an organizational level: Professionalism is a reflection of an organization’s values, especially when it comes to front-line employees who work with patients on a regular basis. If an employee is highly professional, it is more likely that they will represent both themselves and the organization well. Again, employees that are highly professional tend to be seen as having greater credibility which in turn, reflects the organization’s credibility as well. To add to that, employees that are highly professional create a higher degree of confidence in their performance and are more likely to be given additional responsibilities or promotions than those who must be reminded on a daily basis not to be late for work or a team meeting.
Why it matters on a third-party level: Professionalism is a reflection of an agency’s credibility. Much like the first two, agencies want to work with candidates who are highly professional as it is a reflection of their own credibility. Similar to hospitals that are liable for those they employ to interact with patients on a regular basis, third-party staffing agencies are liable for both the behavior and performance of the candidates they put forward to hospitals to help fill their staffing needs. To add to that, recruiters are much more likely to work with candidates they trust to represent both themselves and the recruiter well because at the end of the day, recruiters are stakeholders in the hiring process and their professional credibility is at stake for those they advocate for.
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