This article is based on a lecture which has been delivered by Mr. Roshen Warnacula, team lead - talent acquisition at Sysco Labs. It was organized by Software Engineering Teaching Unit - University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.
“The skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well”
Professionalism is about having strong skills and competence in the field, qualities and behaviors how a person exhibits, how a person conducts himself during business affairs.
In here professionalism will be explained under 10 key points.
A professional is always neatly dressed.
He will always try to maintain with the company's dress code and should pay special attention when representing the company in front of external clients and stakeholders.
Maintaining good appearance helps to build up a good impression about the person in others.
Reflect confidence, but not cockiness
A professional should be polite and well-spoken even when interacting with customers, superiors or co-workers.
Be counted on to find a way to get the job done.
A professional should respond to people promptly and follow through on promises in a timely manner. And he should clarify everything, especially when things change, to make sure the team is also in the same page.
Strive to become an expert in the career path.
A professional should continue education by taking courses, attending seminars and obtaining related educational and professional qualifications through out the career life.
All professionals must adhere to a strict code of ethics
Even if the company does not have a written code, a professional should always ethical behavior. There are professional bodies out there to protect the professional community with well defined code of ethics.
A professional must maintain his/her poise even when facing a difficult situation
A professional should be able to work calm and in structured manner even he is challenged or questioned.
Phone etiquette is also an important component of professional behavior
When placing an official call, a professional should explain himself at first by his name, company and designation. He should not dominate the conversation, should listen pay attention to what the other party is saying.
During written or email correspondence, should keep emails brief and to the point.
A professional should you polite and formal tone while keeping email and written communications. As example, capital letters should not used in emails no matter how frustrated situation is. It might imply shouting or forcing about the matter.
A professional can quickly and easily find what is needed.
A professional should keep his work well prepared and organized. When attending a meeting or presentation, he should well prepared and take what is necessary. Even he should maintain his work area neat and organized.
Always be accountable for your actions
If a professional makes a mistake, he should own up to it and try to fix it if possible. And he should not try to place the blame on a colleague.
Communication is the key. not only verbal also the written communications skills are required. No matter how good at a technology, if he cannot do communications properly, it does not help the company to achieve its goals.
Companies look for individuals who can go beyond the expectation and who can add more value to the company and produce innovative solutions.
Ability to lead
Companies look for employees who can work in a team and step up and drive the team in difficult times. They expect to find out employees who might be suitable for top ranks in future.
The workplace is an environment full of challenges and obstacles. Those with a positive outlook will find it much easier to survive and thrive than those without.
In order to have the maximum impact, companies looking for people who can play multiple roles within the team.
Willingness to learn
Technologies and tools used in companies might get changed time to time. There is no one to teach those and get employees get updated. So companies look for individuals who are willing to learn new technologies and get adopted by their selves.
These are the things, an undergraduate or an individual who is willing to enter the industry should have or should practice. If you feel you do not have those qualities, there are organizations like toastmasters, online courses, training programs to improve those qualities.