How to Be Professional On and Off the Clock

In many industries, corporate culture has changed a lot, and people often wonder how to be professional or if it even matters anymore.

A generation ago, most companies emphasized a strict formal dress code, calling people sir, ma’am, and boss; or an in-at-9-a.m., out-at-5-p.m.

Nowadays, workplaces are more relaxed.

Startup culture has pervaded, and few industries maintain their buttoned-up attitudes and environments.

However, that doesn’t mean employees shouldn’t still be professional in the workplace.

How to Be Professional On and Off the Clock

Tony Stark’s iron suit commands respect and professionalism in the world of superheroes.

His look, attitude, and abilities help him lead and be successful.

Maintaining a polished and professional demeanor in the workplace can elevate your reputation and open doors to success.

Here are some tips for behaving professionally at work and even home after you finish the day.

Be Productive to Be Professional

An office full of perks, snacks, and games can seem a like a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, it’s still a workplace, not a playground.

There may be a ping pong table in the main conference room, but the focus should always be on the projects and tasks at hand.

Those workplace benefits are great, but only if they’re earned through legitimate work.

Professionalism In The Workplace 101: Resist the Office Gossip

Catching up with coworkers is one thing, but badmouthing someone else in the office is quite another.

Continually gossiping about a colleague, team member, or boss can quickly bite you.

Kick the habit by shifting the subject to something unrelated to work, or turn negative talk about someone into a positive statement.

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Separate Work and Life

Everyone has things going on outside of the office.

Do your best to keep them outside the office.

Try not to take personal calls or check personal emails, social media, or messages, but if you have to address something, make it quick.

No matter what you have going on in your personal life, it shouldn’t affect your work at the office.

The same applies to your home life; don’t bring the office home with you.

Whether you had a bad day or a great day, your family deserves your full attention.

Maintain your work/life balance as best you can.

Avoid Peer Pressure

We often associate peer pressure with being a kid, but peer pressure surrounds you throughout life.

It isn’t something you just outgrow after high school, and peer pressure can even follow you into the workplace.

It’s okay to have a drink or two at a happy hour with colleagues or to spend a little extra on a business dinner, but don’t overdo it.

Some employees will try to take advantage of expense policies or have a few too many at cocktail hour.

Keep it professional by making good choices and respecting the company you work for.

Look Your Best

You don’t have to wear a suit and tie daily or a skirt and high heels but put your best foot forward.

Wear what you feel comfortable in, which presents who you are professionally.

At a creative ad agency, that might mean wearing sneakers and jeans, but for a client-facing sales organization, that might mean an updated suit with no tie.

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Consider what your job’s main focus is, and dress for that.

Think Before You Speak

Voicing your opinions in the workplace, especially in the current working atmosphere, is usually encouraged, and many businesses take what their employees say to heart.

However, you should still maintain a mental filter before you start spewing all your thoughts.

If you get into debates and stand-offs over every issue you have an opinion on, people around you may start to think you’re challenging them or you’re not a team player.

This can ultimately lead to your being ignored in the office, even if you have a legitimate concern or point to make.

Resist the urge to complain and overstate your thoughts.

You’ll keep the respect of others, and it will help you in the long run.

You might also like these Think Before You Speak Quotes.

Prosper at Work and Home by Acting Professionally

Even in today’s more laid-back environment, being professional, both in the workplace and out of it isn’t difficult.

A little common sense will go a long way in a professional setting.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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