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I speak to many business owners and industry leaders and their message seems to be the same, finding individuals that desire to work and reflect professionalism is becoming more difficult.

When we think about a poor performer who shows up late or calls out excessively, is sloppy in their dress, complains, doesn’t work well with others, and their work quality is poor we can quickly see the frustration that leaders, managers, and teammates can experience working with this person. These attributes of a poor performer are typically not from a lack of technical ability, but from a lack of social skills, respect for themselves and a negative attitude that permeates all they do.

In contrast, I also speak to colleges and universities around the country and highlight to the students it has never been easier to set themselves apart from the competition. In a world where many people are distracted, when we focus on the pursuit of professionalism we can create a huge competitive advantage.

When poor performance seems to be increasing around us and someone shows up that exhibits the skills of professionalism they immediately set themselves apart from the sea of mediocrity that appears to be pervasive in our workplace today. As being witnessed today in many industries, the number one thing companies are looking for above technical skills, are good social skills.

The professionalism advantage refers to the benefits that come from displaying professional behavior in the workplace. Professionalism is typically characterized by traits such as confidence, reliability, integrity, respectfulness, and a strong work ethic. When individuals exhibit these traits consistently, they tend to earn the respect and trust of their colleagues and superiors.

So, what does that look like? Professionals have the technical skills necessary for success and are also professionally dressed, manage their time wisely, are a team players, communicate well, and exhibit the soft skills necessary to excel.

These are skills and attitudes that are not difficult to master but require investment by the individual. This investment will benefit all who pursue them, independent of the type of work performed. These skills affect our professional and personal lives to help us become better team members, leaders, spouses, parents, friends, and family members, which is why they are called life skills.

When we compare the poor performer and the polished professional, who would you desire to hire, work with, be friends with, be married to, or promote?

In 2023 let’s set the goal of investing in our success so we can gain a professionalism advantage in our work, home, and community to make them better places because we are there.

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The Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette teaches the skill of confidence to eliminate personal and professional barriers and live an extraordinary life.

www.charlestonschoolofprotocol.com.