Even if you don’t have a degree or are employed in a field that is classed as professional, there are three things that you can do to improve your situation and move you from “someone who just works here” to someone who is respected as a “professional”:
1. Dress for Success – My aunt has always said that you should dress for the job you want – not for the job you have. In recent years, the policies in organizations have lowered standards for office wear. Some employees have dropped it even further with their apathy. Taking care of your hygiene and choosing attractive business styles shows that you respect yourself and the people who are around you. It is kind of like housekeeping. Keep your house to a standard where you would never be embarrassed but would be proud if someone who you admire stopped in to see you unexpectedly. Would you feel good about your appearance if someone from Head Office or your personal hero showed up without advance notice? When you dress well you walk a little taller and feel a little smarter. You have a better chance at success when you dress for success.
2. Have a professional attitude – People can tire of the person who is always negative and complains about the ways things are – especially if they don’t do anything to improve the situation. A professional attitude means that you think about ways to enhance not only the products and services but also the relationships of those involved in the business and their clients. When you are happy, positive and creative, others will want to work with you and be part of your projects.
3. Do everything with excellence – It is not enough to just get it done. It is important that you deliver or preferably over-deliver on time. Think about what you would appreciate from someone in your position if you were their boss or co-worker or client. You are not just building a business. You are building your reputation. When you can be relied upon to consistently do things with excellence you likely will not even have to convince the hiring committee that you deserve a better position. Everyone will already know that you will be able to handle it with finesse because of your track record!