11 Examples of Professional Self
John Spacey, July 03, 2021
A professional self is the way that a person behaves in a job. In most professions it is not enough to be yourself as you may be expected to live up to professional duties and standards. The following are illustrative examples.
ObjectivityAvoiding the temptation to inject your worldview into your work. For example, a teacher or professor who doesn't try to convince students of a particular political viewpoint but presents each side of things in a balanced way that doesn't reveal how they personally feel.
AccountabilityA willingness to accept accountability for everything that is under your power to control. This avoids excuses and blame games. For example, a manager who never blames their team when a failure occurs.
DiligenceThe degree of care and attention that you pay to your work.
Personal PresenceYour presence in a room. For example, professionals who are perceived as charming or abrasive, positive or cynical, capable or incompetent, engaged or distracted, helpful or unhelpful, friendly or unfriendly, stable or moody, cooperative or self-absorbed, supportive or undermining.
Self-DirectionYour ability to push forward in an environment of low direction and high ambiguity. For example, a new hire who works their way onto high priority projects after their boss fails to give them much to do.
Self-CorrectionA professional who applies critical thinking to their own work to challenge their own assumptions. For example, a teacher who finds that a student isn't comprehending a lesson who reconsiders their lesson approach instead of blaming the student.
AdaptabilityThe ability to change with the times and situation and to cope with situations that differ from your expectations and assumptions. For example, a mid-career teacher who learns how to code because they find it is useful to their lessons or career.
KnowledgeThe knowledge, experience and research habits of a professional. For example, a salesperson who learns everything there is to know about the product they are selling versus a salesperson who simply spouts nonsense when customers ask a question.
EnergyThe degree to which you are truly interested, engaged and productive.
ResilienceIn most jobs, dealing with people is the most stressful component of work. Professionals need to handle difficult people, disagreement, tricky politics and criticism without losing it or becoming unhappy and stressed. Resilience in these situations is perhaps the most valuable dimension of your professional self that is also likely to be the most difficult to build up.
Self-FulfillmentThe degree to which you are able to obtain a sense of meaning and self-fulfillment from your work. For example, a teacher who feels they are making a difference by helping children develop important foundational skills and knowledge.
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