Ten Easy Steps Toward Professionalism

By Ashley N. Kasprzak, JVA Senior Associate

I have the good fortune to work with caring, hardworking people across the state. They all share a common value: helping improve people’s lives. I love the passion and joy people exhibit when I meet with them. At the same time, it’s clear to me that we all could use some pointers when it comes to professionalism.

Those of you who know me are probably aware that I am a person with many demands in my life. I am not perfect, but work hard at JVA and for my clients. I try to be the best mom possible, keeping two active boys busy and engaged in interesting activities. I connect in my community by volunteering for various causes. Admittedly, I sometimes have too much on my plate yet I still always strive to employ the following professional habits (and recommend them to everyone working in a professional workplace too!):

  1. Place a signature on all email messages with full name, title, employer’s name, phone, email, fax number and Web site address.
  2. Keep voice mail message current.
  3. Return phone calls within 24 hours.
  4. Place an out-of-office reply on all email accounts when away from the office for one day or more.
  5. Make it easy to connect with other professionals by keeping an updated profile on LinkedIn.
  6. Dress professionally—nice-looking casual flies in some communities, but business casual (at the very least) is needed when in Denver.
  7. Meet deadlines (grant deadlines, report deadlines, etc.),
  8. Arrive for meetings on time. Yes, I’m working to improve in this area!
  9. Turn your cell phone off during meetings.
  10. Expect high performance everyday and remember that it’s also OK to cut each other some slack when life interferes.

Although many of these tips are common sense, they are often the areas of our work that we let slide when we get busy. Unfortunately, they are also the things that let our clients and colleagues know that we care about and take pride in our work. So next time you feel too tired to change that email signature, or return that voicemail, remember that it’s the little things that often leave the biggest impression, for better or worse.

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One Response to Ten Easy Steps Toward Professionalism

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