Conduct Yourself in the Workplace with Professionalism

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We all know the guy who spills coffee on the floor in the break room, leaves his trash on the table, and his half eaten food in the refrigerator until someone else throws it away.

Or how about the woman who visits your desk several times a day to talk about her date last night, her weekend plans, or her upcoming trip to Cancun? Your attempts to ignore her go unnoticed and her blabbing keeps you from concentrating on the project you’re trying to complete by noon.

The office gossip is the worst. She never has a good word to say about anyone, she spreads rumors, and can’t wait to reveal the latest tidbits of a private conversation she overheard in the hallway.

The workplace environment has become more relaxed and informal than it was 20 years ago, but a code of unspoken professionalism is still desired and expected. If you want to impress the management team and advance your career, these simple reminders will help you achieve your goals while earning the respect of your boss and coworkers.

Office Casual Doesn’t Mean Jeans and a Tee-Shirt

If you wish to be viewed as a professional, arrive at the office looking like one. You may not have to wear a suit and tie or a pencil skirt and starched blouse anymore, but you have to look the part. Stay on top of the latest business casual fashion trends and adjust your wardrobe accordingly. You’ll perform better and feel better if you are neat and well-groomed when you show up at the office.

Watch What You Say

Avoid office gossip and pettiness. The use of profanity is not necessary to make a point, so do not use it. Don’t be a complainer. A friendly, positive attitude will help others feel good about the work environment. If you have legitimate grievances, talk them over with the management team and be prepared to offer suggestions to resolve problems.

Keep an Open Mind

Listen before you speak. A true professional has the ability to listen to another point of view without trying to dominate the conversation. If your boss makes a suggestion that sounds like criticism, think of it as a tip to enhance your job performance. Use constructive criticism to your advantage.

Are You a Team Player?

Cooperation is essential in the workplace. A request from management may not be in your job description; do it anyway. Don’t leave a mess for someone else to clean up. Take the time to offer your assistance whenever you can. Having an opinion is always acceptable; pouting when someone doesn’t agree with it is not.

If you are setting your sights on a promotion or salary increase with your yearly review, your job performance in not the only aspect to be considered. Your professional conduct will also come into play. Always try to be the best you can be in the work environment. You’ll not only get that raise, but you’ll set yourself up for success in all future endeavors.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "Conduct Yourself in the Workplace with Professionalism," in, February 9, 2016, (accessed August 17, 2022).