Professionalism | INFJ Forum

Professionalism

Discussion in 'Education and Careers' started by Gaze, Mar 9, 2017.

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  1. Gaze

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    Do you think what it means to be a professional has changed over the years? How? Please include examples from personal experience where you can. Do you think changes are good, bad, or unnecessary? How do you think it could be better? Do you think there is a true or lasting value in being "professional" or should basic values of politeness, courtesy, civility, and respect be enough?

    Answer as many or as few of these questions as you like.
     
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  2. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    To me professionalism means a high degree of competence, getting results.

    On the politeness aspect, I think that depends on the relationship, and the rapport. I think professionals usually try to make sure their relationships, with work colleagues are productive.

    Quite often at work, before I left my last employer there was too much attention on "standards of behavior" rather than sorting out issues. So people were superficially "polite" but then problems were left unresolved and the actual morale and relationships were poor.

    There have to be some basic rules to follow, but beyond that I don't think obsessing with that, instead of dealing with problems helped or was professional.

    To me its about achieving high standards, that can be clearly measured, and reaching the targets that are set, whilst ensuring the targets are realistic and properly drive the work or business in the right direction.
     
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  3. invisible

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    I think like James said that it's all about the work and its outcomes. A professional will put all the other things aside as much as possible in order to achieve the good quality work and directed outcomes.

    An unprofessional person will relate to others in the workplace in ways that are not about work. Promoting friends, relating to inferiors in a parental or "family" way rather than as capable professionals with their own knowledges and skill sets to contribute. They will specialise in clients who waste company time with personal level exchanges and present poor business opportunities. They will make business decisions on the basis of their own whims, irrational preferences, or own personal image and "branding" priorities rather than stakeholder interests or clearly reasoned and supported arguments for action. They will treat the workplace as their home, playground, or social arena. Some of them will pursue colleagues sexually, hold personal grudges and bully, form cliques, even takes drugs while at work. All things that have nothing to do with good quality work outcomes.
     
  4. Free

    Free probably just a "like" bot
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    I think some aspects have changed over the years. As already stated, it seems that now personal work vs outcome reflects your professionalism. However in my experience, this wasn't always the case.

    Appearance played a huge part regardless how professional your work was. You had to look it as well, meaning "clean cut". There were strict dress codes when I first started out. Hair tightly done up, workwear starched and pressed, little to no makeup, I remember even receiving a warning because my hair color at the time was too unnatural and when my hair is up, it shows a tiny tattoo behind my ear which I was required to cover with a bandaid everyday. This was because of the older generations in charge who had a different standard that they held everyone else to. As newer generations began to take over the workplace, it became less about appearances and more about output and efficiency. Although in a strictly professional atmosphere, things at the same time became more and more casual when it came to appearance.

    I like the changes. It allows you to be more yourself while at work which can effect productivity for the better and morale in general while still maintaining professional poise and demeanor. There are still those that we find in every workplace that like to push the envelope with their unprofessional attitudes, sadly.
     
  5. Eventhorizon

    Eventhorizon Permanently relocated
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    A professional has focus on the job at hand and the intent of seeing the job through to completion. Personal issues, concerns or wants are removed in a work environment when they are not related to the job. This does not mean one cannot be cordial, (unless you are an intj) only that the focus remains on what it takes to get a job done first and foremost. Promotions have nothing to do with friendships or how well you brown nose a boss.
     
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  6. ruji

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    Sounds a lot like how the military is (was? for me).

    I think part of the new unprofessionalism is in-part due to our modern social media era of attention-seekers wanting their ego/image to shine through even in their jobs. It's actually more complicated than that, and a lot of it is warranted aside the distasteful imposition of people's "personalities".

    Another aspect general of all the shit that's going on in the world related to the lack of professionalism, is that it regresses our society to primitive behaviors based on ego with no governance. We have less a concept of what's right, and we prioritize individualism over cooperation. I feel we are falling apart as a society, and it seems every man for himself.

    This might be an exaggeration, though it is my opinion.
     
    #6 ruji, Mar 10, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  7. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    I think there's a dose of truth in that. Right across western societies, big employers worry about "employee engagement" . If you produce a "hire and fire" style economy where people either are on low wages, the job is insecure, they are treated poorly at work, or all 3 - you are bound to get staff who have low motivation.

    If you work for an employer who treats you badly, where's the incentive? There isn't one. Big business are very worried about it, but the answers simple. Treat staff better, provide a decent environment. Share the profits etc fairly, and be honest with your staff.

    Most people want to do a good job, but when they feel like they're treated like disposable pens, why should they care? The last manager of my office, was an utter tool. He presided over it's closure, so it could benefit his career. He lied to all of his staff including his own most senior managers over a two year period whilst he did it. I had been there (in various offices) over years so I knew what he was doing.

    It suited me personally, I wanted to leave anyway. But that was what he did. When it was announced there was a large office meeting, about 400 people. They were in shock. They weren't left with no jobs but every body would have to transfer to another site, and do completely different work. Nearly all the senior managers left. Over 50 left without transfer, more than 100 left within a year.

    It was a very "economic" way of getting rid of a large number of people without offering them the redundancy payments they'd have been due. But that's business huh? The guy responsible eventually got another promotion for his "valuable" work.

    He had a mile wide smile fixed on his face every day as he did it all. I'm sure he'll go further. Lol. I learned it's more about politics, and what you can claim credit for, than showing up doing a good job, or working hard. That meant very little in that place sadly.
     
    #7 James, Mar 10, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  8. Tin Man

    Tin Man "a respectable amount of screaming"

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    So you've met my boss?
     
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  9. Tin Man

    Tin Man "a respectable amount of screaming"

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    This is unfortunately true. There are some places where capability and performance are more important, but even in such environments office politics still have a place. I've heard it suggested that it's a result of the corporate mindset, but I've worked in large multinationals and smaller family owned businesses, and it's still the same.

    People ruin everything.
     
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  10. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    @Gale I think this is a great thread. Sadly in my typical way I think I may have taken it slightly aside with some of my personal experiences. Sorry! :)

    What i think most of all ? When you are working with people who are "professional" you enjoy it, benefit and thrive. True professionals to me share their talents and benefit everyone with them. They are drivers of good things, they don't just get the job done, they bring people with them and they have a good time doing so. They share the credit and shoulder the blame, and they make sure people don't get left behind.

    They develop their talents and abilities and bring out the best in everyone around them, as opposed to exploiting them or diminishing them. I've been lucky enough to know and work with a few people like that over the years, and I appreciated them a great deal. Everyone did. They navigated the politics and hassles and made good judgement calls.

    For me they were "professional" and they existed at all levels within the places that I worked. I think professionalism is a good thing.
     
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  11. OP
    Gaze

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    One of the biggest mistakes I made before I started any work experience was not learning more about corporate culture, business practices, and the politics of office communication. I always thought it was hard work, doing your best, and being courteous was enough. Wow, was I wrong. Dealing with people was the biggest competence required to survive. Professionalism should be associated with effective, positive, and lasting work experiences. But most companies aren't about long term employment anymore and there are too many candidates in the sea. Things have changed and unfortunately, it's less about work and doing a good job, and more about subjective perception, being a "team player" and meeting social and professional expectations that may have nothing to do with job fulfillment. Sad.
     
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  12. Ryso89

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    I said it somewhere else, but if you're any bit of an outsider personality, office environments tend to be a social game of politics, so I've learned. My particular jobs weren't even fulfilling to me or conducive to a path that is right for me, so I've been knocked back to square 1 multiple times with finding work that makes sense. People don't get us because we don't appeal to their prejudices. I've had interviewers with a chip on their shoulders from the get go about me simply because I don't fit their mold, neither on paper nor in person because I'm generally always clean shaven and look "younger" than most guys my age (the last interview: "how do you have these years of employment experience for being so young?").... For that very reason people haven't taken my convictions seriously (and I am very assertive in my convictions about work and confident in my presence and demeanor, trust me). It's hard NOT to be jaded, and to not walk out when I detect someone doesn't take me seriously to begin with.

    Interviews are inherently awful... I'm forced into this awkward conversation with someone I just met with the intention of "selling myself" to them... I had one interview where I couldn't answer her questions with haste, and when I'm engaged in thought, I look around to focus on her question while I'm concentrating (while also attempting to suppress my incredible anxiety around this person because her energy is strange / poor and is making me uncomfortable). My eyesight glances to a board with ethics or something I couldn't read because I was buried inside of my head. I finally respond (genuinely) and her response is "well, you would have said that if you were reading the board".

    My response: "Well, when I'm thinking and trying to answer your question on the spot, I look around because I'm trying to focus. It's called concentration. Do you know what that looks like? I'm not pacifying you with an answer that I think you want to hear." At this point I was just shy of saying "FUCK YOU". Long story short, I am going to find a cheap way to travel the world on breadcrumbs, because that's where I'm headed, apparently.
     
    #12 Ryso89, Mar 12, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
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  13. MrSquared

    MrSquared Well-known member

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    To me it means a couple of things:
    • Knowing your job description and fulfilling it
    • Being a decent human being wherever and whenever you're working
    • Filling the ideal candidate role by doing your best at work
    • Treating others with tolerance, respect, and patience while being willing to stand up for yourself as needed
    Sometimes professionalism entails referencing and reminding others of the policy and being able to draw boundaries in a friendly yet reassuring way.

    Least that's the way I see it.
     
    #13 MrSquared, Mar 14, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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