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Professionalism in profession

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The noun professionalism is usually used to describe the type of behavior you would expect from a professional person. For example, showing up to work on time, and focusing on the task at hand.  In a words the professionalism is “the expertness characteristic of a professional person” 

'Professionalism' describes the qualities, skills, competence and behaviors expected of individuals belonging to any given profession.Professionalism is often defined as the strict adherence to courtesy, honesty and responsibility when dealing with individuals or other companies in the business environment. This trait often includes a high level of excellence going above and beyond basic requirements.

Professionalism in profession

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines professionalism as "the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person"; and it defines a profession as "a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation." These definitions imply that professionalism encompasses a number of different attributes, and, together, these attributes identify and define a professional.


Wikipedia defines profession as “A profession is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested objective counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain. "liberal professions" are, according to the European Union's Directive on Recognition of Professional Qualifications (2005/36/EC) "those practiced on the basis of relevant professional qualifications in a personal, responsible and professionally independent capacity by those providing intellectual and conceptual services in the interest of the client and the public".

The dimensions of 'professionalism':

Professionalism captures what it means to be a professional, and what is expected of them. Professional activity is complex and diverse and has the following dimensions:

1.  Engagement with and use of the available robust evidence base

2.  Decision-making within changing, uncertain and unpredictable situations, and not just use of a fixed body of knowledge and skill

3.  Management of potentially incomplete and conflicting information

4.  The requirement to work as part of a wider multi-professional team, and not just in isolation

5.  The need to cope with the unknown and unexpected, as well as the routine

6.  The need to consider and resolve complex ethical and moral matters

7.  The requirement to undertake career-long learning and development

Characteristics of Professionalism: 

We have identified some characteristics of professionalism such as skill, competency, honesty, integrity, accountability, self-regulation, Good image, responsibility, commitments, politeness, intelligence, expertise etc. Combination of these characteristics will make perfect professionalism of a professional. So a professional should have practice following attributes

 Integrity and Professionalism:

People with integrity do not cheat, steal, or lie, even when they will not get caught. They do not "borrow" data that they should not access; "cherry pick" data to misrepresent meaning; or misuse information in conflict with legal norms, ethical expectations, or common sense. Integrity are personal traits that are expected of any person, regardless of job title, role, responsibility, or function within an organization.

Honesty and professionalism:

Professionals exhibit qualities such as honesty. They keep their word, and they can be trusted implicitly because of this. They never compromise their values, and will do the right thing, even when it means taking a harder road. So honesty is the best attribute of professionalism.

Professional Skill:

Professionals have worked in a serious, thoughtful and sustained way to master the specialized knowledge needed to succeed in their fields; and that they keep this knowledge up-to-date, so that they can continue to deliver the best work possible. Professionals are known for their specialized knowledge. They've made a deep personal commitment to develop and improve their skills, and, where appropriate, they have the degrees and certifications that serve as the foundation of this knowledge.


Professionals hold themselves accountable for their thoughts, words, and actions, especially when they've made a mistake. When something goes wrong, do you immediately look for ways to avoid blame or for ways to correct the problem? Taking responsibility for a mistake -- and then learning from it -- might be the most reliable mark of a true professional.


The employee exhibits true professionalism by maintaining a calm, business-like demeanor, and by doing everything that she can to make the situation right. Approaching others with patience and respect for their perspective enables constructive criticism and stronger collaboration. When in doubt, fall back on the old standby: Treat others as you'd like to be treated.

Good image: 

In your quest to create a professional image, be ever mindful that appearances count a lot towards creating a good first impression as well as ongoing interactions. Personal grooming should not be overlooked. The key is presenting an image that says you are confident, credible, trustworthy and approachable. Work with in-store or hired image experts who can advise you accordingly. Making a good impression is important in professionalism.


Professional responsibility is the area of legal practice that encompasses the duties of attorneys to act in a professional manner, obey the law, avoid conflicts of interest, and put the interests of clients ahead of their own interests.


Whenever you make a promise to your superior, colleagues, or clients, keep it. If it looks as if you won't be able to meet a deadline, let your upper responsible person, team or client know as soon as sensibly possible.


True professionals tend to be aware of how their work and behavior affects everyone around them. Small courtesies such as letting colleagues know in advance when you'll be unavailable can make a big difference in the team's overall performance.


Approaching others with patience and respect for their perspective enables constructive criticism and stronger collaboration. Be kind and polite and use good manners to everyone you come into contact with, no matter what their role is, and no matter how you're feeling.


Professionals are dedicated to providing the highest quality in service. Emotions drive passions. The consummate professional is passionate about success. Professional should have increase intelligence and skills. There is expertise that has been cultivated through continuous learning and quality experience.


The professional is both highly competent and autonomous but also deeply connected to the best practices and standards of the field. They're reliable, and they keep their promises. If circumstances arise that prevent them from delivering on their promises, they manage expectations up front, and they do their best to make the situation right.

Examples of professionalism:

Alexander Pope and Samuel Johnson, struggling in the transition from the age of patronage to that of Grub Street professionalism, Shakespeare offered not only a body of poetic invention but also an inspirational career trajectory. —Jonathan Bate, Harper's, April 2007

In Washington, careerism has so trumped professionalism among political journalists as to render Alderman’s ethical concerns almost quaint. —Gene Lyons, Harper's, October 2003

It is difficult not to contrast the professionalism of modestly paid firefighters and police doing their duty on September 11 with the secretive … behavior of six- and seven-figure accountants, lawyers, CEOs, bankers, and financial analysts who failed at their duty with Enron. —Bruce Nussbaum, Business Week, 28 Jan. 2002

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