Being professional doesn’t always mean wearing a suit and tie or a pencil skirt with ridiculously high heels. Being professional can simply mean being polite, well-dressed, and articulate—these qualities can help you not only in the workplace, but in daily life! Any SLNer who has spent too much time with a forced customer service smile may know the pains of professionalism, but also the rewards. Here are five ways that your kickass professional self will benefit in life.
1. Landing Your Dream Job Will Be Easier
The most obvious benefit of professionalism is that it’ll help you, well, land a job. When you enter an interview looking prepared and professional, you’re going to wow your potential employer right away. They’re more likely to hire the badass in the sharp outfit over some kid in jeans who speaks in cryptic slang. And no, calling your interviewer “fam” won’t help.
2. You’ll Have More Job Security Than You Can Imagine
No matter what you do in your future position, you’ll be showcasing not only your skills, but your mannerisms. If you’re courteous, respectful, and mature, your peers and bosses will remember that. No one wants to fire the employee who brings a smile to people’s faces and makes everyone feel loved. Add competence and punctuality to that cocktail and you’ll be set for the career of your choosing.
3. You’ll Network Better Than Your Parents Can
Networking has always seemed like something that adults do to land better clients, or as an excuse to show off fancy business cards. In reality, networking is an amazing thing to master for anyone. It will help you get jobs, improve your skills, make friends, and so much more. By making an outstanding impression on others, they’re more likely to end up trusting and helping you throughout your life. Being professional and fun to be around is a great start. You don’t necessarily have to print business cards or attend serious business conferences—just leave a good impression with those around you and don’t be afraid to cash in on your connections.
4. You’ll Be a Better Communicator And Your Life Will Be Filled With Rainbows*
Customers who scream and yell in order to get what they want will always exist. Sadly, this tactic usually works, and some students might even resort to doing it. But seriously—getting five-dollar hair dye or a discounted airline ticket probably won’t make you happier in the long run, and the employee you screamed at for ten straight minutes will have their day ruined. If you’re nice and respectful with customer service reps, they’ll want to help you more. I’ve worked in customer service for years, and I’ve always been more likely to go above and beyond for nice customers over ones who shriek about my “incompetence.” No one wants to make a raging banshee happy. If you try to negotiate in a calm, respectful, and professional manner, you might get what you want and have a pleasant encounter.
* The increased appearance of rainbows in the reader’s life cannot be guaranteed by SLN. However, we hope it happens.
5. You’ll Be Taken Seriously
As someone under the age of thirty, you probably get written off a lot as a dreamer, a kid, someone who doesn’t understand life, or all of the above. Whether it’s because of a “playful” vibe or excessive nonchalance, we’ve all felt dismissed at some point by “real” adults for our youthful qualities. But if you’re polite, mature, and confident, those “adults” will be much less likely to write you off. When you’re dressed nicely and come off as a calm, logical, and sincere person, they’ll be convinced that you are. Confidence and professionalism can persuade almost anyone of anything. I rarely know what I’m doing in my life, but when I share my thoughts maturely, people seem to think I’m a well-put together human being. And I’m confident that can work for anyone.
And there you have it. You might be thinking that these things are mostly intuitive, but you’d be surprised at how many people aren’t fully aware of the benefits of conducting themselves with maturity, confidence, and poise in their everyday lives. Get out there and show the world just how much of a pro you are; great things are sure to come if you do.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.