I’m here to argue that (regardless of your choice of career, age, gender, Spiritual beliefs, nationality, race, color or socioeconomic background and current stature) YOU have just as much a right to CLAIM yourself to be a “Professional” as anyone.
That’s right – “Professional” is an equal opportunity designation. (although many people don’t claim it).
So . . . while you can CLAIM the title . . . Once you do, there are going to be some things you might need to think about doing to earn and maintain such a lofty position in other people’s minds.
When defining “Professional”, wiki is somewhat at a loss for words . . . so much so that they are begging for input. Here’s some of what I found there:
- “A professional is a member of a vocation founded upon specialised educational training.
- The term professional is used more generally to denote a white collar working person, or a person who performs commercially in a field typically reserved for hobbyists or amateurs. . . .
- creative and intellectually challenging work. . .
- a person having impressive competence in a particular activity.
- Because of the personal and confidential nature of many professional services and thus the necessity to place a great deal of trust in them, most professionals are held up to strict ethical and moral regulations.”
So I see ‘Specialized Educational Training” – “Performs Commercially” – “creative & Intellectually Challenging” – “Impressive Competence” – commitment to “Strict Ethical and Moral” standards.
I think if we add a dose of “Bearing” (How you present yourself – With CONFIDENCE, how you dress) and a dash of networking skills, you’re well on your way to being KNOWN as a professional.
The professionals I know (from Hourly laborers to high level executives) stand out from the crowd because they are committed to HIGH ACHIEVEMENT and their work in their profession demonstrates HIGH PERFORMANCE relative to others in the same line of work . . . they hold themselves to a standard of excellence.
I think true Professionals are “The Vital Few” (20%ers) Vilfredo Pareto was talking about when he derived the 20/80 principle.
Go ahead and start calling yourself a “professional” and then commit yourself to excellence and high ethical standards for the rest of your career . . . Success follows 🙂
PS – It helps to “hang with” other professionals and network with the best and know that there’s always room for improvement and learning.