Cursive letter e and number three within a blue circle with a trademark TM
Woman sits at a laptop, thinking.

What does it mean to be “professional”?

As you start looking for work, you’ll hear this word over and over again. Every job is looking for a “professional”, but what does that mean exactly?

Job specific knowledge aside, most bosses are looking to hire people who share these qualities:

  • Honest. People can depend on you to show up on time, submit your work when it’s supposed to be ready, etc. You tell the truth, even when it is difficult.

  • Respectful. Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated, with kindness and dignity.

  • Always learning. Rather than letting your skills or knowledge become outdated, you seek out ways of staying current.

  • Positive. Have an upbeat attitude and try to be a problem-solver instead of complaining.

  • Supportive. You work well with others and share the spotlight with your coworkers.

  • Staying Work-Focused. Not letting your private life have an impact on your job, and not spending time at work attending to personal matters. (Stop checking your phone at work!)

  • Good Listener. People want to be heard, so you give people a chance to explain their ideas properly.

With these skills, coupled with a neat, clean appearance that reflects the company values, people will see you as a professional. Someone who takes their career path seriously and who should be respected within the workplace.