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Saturday, October 06, 2012

Wishing vs Wanting to be a Professional

If your client, employer, or team is counting on you and your efforts, you owe it to them to do what it takes to perform in a professional like manner, or to acknowledge you are not ready or willing for such an assignment.

Here is a checklist to determine how close to being a professional you are, no matter what your field of expertise.

As a professional:As an amateur:
You show up everydayYou show up when you want to
You show up no matter whatYou allow even little things to distract us
You stay on the job until the job is doneYou stay on the job until it’s time to clock out
You diligently discover what is needed and wantedYou assume what others need and want
You master the technique of our tradeYou try to copy others
You do not let mistakes slide byYou ignore or hide mistakes
You seek order in our workThings are done haphazardly
You act in the face of fearFear deters you
You do not allow yourself any excusesExcuses are used as a common tool
You come every day prepared to workYou do what you feel like doing
You produce more than is expectedYou produce just enough to get by
You complete assignments as soon as possibleYou are inundated with unfinished tasks and assignments
You never hesitate to ask for helpYou go it alone, until you have no choice
You don’t take failure personallyYou fear rejection and try to avoid it
You love taking on hard assignmentsYou try to get out of difficult work
You self-validateYou crumble under criticism
You do work others find boring despite it being boringYou put off work that is not interesting

If you bother to really pay attention, I am sure you will find there are many people working around you who are pretending to be professional, as our nation seems to no longer place an importance on professionalism.
Most people just tend to believe that amateur work is now "normal". Many businesses routinely accept less-than-good results. In fact, they probably do not know what work done by real professionals look like therefore it feels normal.

A three mile run to a couch potato will seem like very hard work, while a professional athlete can run three miles as a warm up. Our school systems routinely graduate students who cannot read, a doctor can graduate with a C average and wind up treating people for life and death conditions. “Just getting by” is an attitude far too many people accept and strive to achieve.

This is the attitude of amateurs not professionals.

The first step to becoming a professional is to decide you WANT to become professional. Then really, really, really commit to doing it, as there are no shortcuts.

So are you just wishing to be a professional or do you WANT to be a professional?

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