Is “being professional” still a thing?

In 2023, I noticed something strange at work. People often talk about ‘true professionals’—those who get things done, are trustworthy, and excel at their jobs.

However, I’ve encountered instances that made me question the very definition of ‘professionalism. I came across people with big titles and important jobs who could have acted more professionally.

For example, there was a lawyer who promised to do something but did not deliver on time, a headhunter who failed to fulfill their promises twice, and a CEO who constantly criticized his teams behind their backs, failed to pay clients’ bills on time, all without ever questioning his own leadership and integrity. These instances are just a few among many others.

Leadership positions carry a particular responsibility when it comes to professionalism. Executives, managers, and those in influential roles set the tone for the entire organization. When leaders fail to demonstrate professionalism, it impacts their credibility and influences the team’s morale and work culture.

Being a professional is more than just knowing your stuff; it’s about being someone others can count on. It’s doing your best work, sticking to deadlines, while treating people honestly and respectfully.

When things go wrong, a great professional owns up to it. They admit mistakes, find solutions, and make things right. That’s what sets them apart. It revolves around work ethics and integrity.

However, given my natural optimism and predisposition to trust people, I’ve come to recognize the need for increased caution in the future.

Have you encountered any instances of unprofessional behavior recently? Is being professional still a valued trait in the workplace, or are we witnessing a shift in priorities?

Let’s hope our workplaces are all about doing things, not just talking, so everyone trusts and respects each other, creating an environment where actions speak louder than words, emphasizing trust, accountability, and mutual respect. 🌟🤝