How to Be More Professional in the Workplace

Find how to perfect an image of a true professional at work

Professional attitude can signal your devotion to your job and may lead to a salary raise or even new career opportunities. Hard work always pays up. We prepared for you the fundamental steps you can take to be more professional in your workplace. We broke them down into three categories – appearance, behaviour and state of mind. Their order is from the easiest to the hardest to achieve. But don’t be bothered by their difficulty. We’re sure you’ll do well because you’re already a step ahead – you’ve been considerate enough to research the topic.



Follow the dress code.

Be neither under-dressed nor overdressed. Both can put people off. If you’re under-dressed you make the bad impression you don’t care how you present yourself in the workplace. If you overdress you look out of place and it seems like you think higher of yourself. Every job has some kind of a dress code, officially stated or not. If you’re not sure what it is, just observe what your colleagues are wearing. Then take that and adjust it to your own preferences. If you have to guess the formality of an event it’s acceptable to be a little bit overdressed than the opposite.


Personal grooming.

This one is a no-brainer but we can’t pass it. Shower daily, wear clean clothes (which are in good condition) and you’ll be fine. For men, it’s preferable to be clean shaven or have a maintained beard. Unkempt beards look lazy and not at all professional. Women have more freedom when it comes to their looks. Don’t overdo your makeup, keep it simple (in case you’re not working as a makeup artist of course). Neatly styled hair is all you need, nothing too fancy.



Be punctual.

Arriving on time for meetings is essential for someone who wants to be professional. If you have to start work at 09:00 AM be there at 08:45 AM. Arrive a few minutes in advance for a meeting or a discussion. Give yourself some time to settle. Being late is equal to little to no consideration. With turning up on time you show respect for others and they will respect you back. Of course, don’t overdo it. Ten minutes or more before a meeting is unnecessary. In addition, you could be also bothering the people having a meeting just before you.

Being punctual not only means to be on time but also to leave on time. Some people think that staying late at work they will make a good impression. This is a trick some people use to look like workaholics when in fact they’re not. The truth is people will not acknowledge it or assume you’re bad at managing time. You also become less productive when you’re overworking. “All work and no play make Johnny a dull boy,” as people say.


Keep quiet.

Everybody can agree they can do without one thing – unnecessary noise. Opening a package of food, eating loudly, talking on the phone in the working area, it’s all distracting. People don’t like people whose sole purpose is to be the centre of attention. Don’t bother your colleagues by talking to them constantly instead of working. Think twice if the thing you’re about to say so important you have to interrupt your work (and your colleague’s work) because of it. Even if you can concentrate quickly after such a distraction some people can’t get to work for around 15 minutes after an interruption. We all love our cup of coffee with a little chat but don’t overdo it. Remember why you’re there.
It’s best to keep your mobile phone in silent mode during work hours. However cool your ringtone may seem to you, it’s still a distraction to everybody else. Just in case pick a professional or neutral ringtone. This is a way to present yourself in public or at least not to embarrass. You really don’t want to know what happens if your boss hears some uncensored gibberish coming from your phone. 


Avoid gossip and be respectful.

Nothing can ruin a reputation like gossip and you shouldn’t participate in it. Show respect to coworkers and customers. Professional attitude calls for professional action. That does not include talking behind the back of your colleagues and boss or participating in office drama. People don’t trust people who always put others down, even if it’s done secretly. On this note – avoid offensive jokes.



Care about your work.

This is the most important aspect of being professional – Get your job done! And don’t just do it for the money. There really should be something more you want from your job. You should have high standards and strive for personal growth. Competence is the key to go up the ladder. Make sure you’re up to date with the information in your company and your business sphere.


Separate work and personal life.

You can’t bring your personal problems to work, neither you can (or should) bring your work to your personal life. Our best advice is to separate them completely. While at work you should also try to minimise your access to the Internet for personal purposes. If you have to receive a call – do it outside the working space. 


Look forward to each day.

If you like going to work it will do well to both you and the ones around you. Think of reasons how your job is affecting positively the world. Try to find your purpose in what you do. It’ll help you to look forward to each day. The moment this happens you won’t find Mondays dreadful and you’ll get out of bed with an ease. Try to be positive towards what you do and take pride in it. There’s no shameful job.
To keep a positive attitude may seem hard sometimes. It can be achieved by being confident in the knowledge and skills you have. Work on that and you’ll see how everything will seem brighter.

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Debra Wade Mahoney
Debra Wade Mahoney
1 year ago

These were awesome tips exactly what I needed to hear