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 everyday||You show up when you want to|
|You show up no matter what||You allow even little things to distract us|
|You stay on the job until the job is done||You stay on the job until it’s time to clock out|
|You diligently discover what is needed and wanted||You assume what others need and want|
|You master the technique of our trade||You try to copy others|
|You do not let mistakes slide by||You ignore or hide mistakes|
|You seek order in our work||Things are done haphazardly|
|You act in the face of fear||Fear deters you|
|You do not allow yourself any excuses||Excuses are used as a common tool|
|You come every day prepared to work||You do what you feel like doing|
|You produce more than is expected||You produce just enough to get by|
|You complete assignments as soon as possible||You are inundated with unfinished tasks and assignments|
|You never hesitate to ask for help||You go it alone, until you have no choice|
|You don’t take failure personally||You fear rejection and try to avoid it|
|You love taking on hard assignments||You try to get out of difficult work|
|You self-validate||You crumble under criticism|
|You do work others find boring despite it being boring||You 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?