Felipe Ruiz Del Pozo
7 July 2019
Professionalism “is the way or manner to develop a certain professional activity with a total commitment, moderation and responsibility, according to their specific formation and following the pre-established social guidelines” (Raffino). Being professional in the workplace, then, calls the employees to commit to developing themselves in intelligence, integrity, and social skills. The following is a closer look at how employees are or are not engaging in professionalism.
Professionalism, measured differently from field to field, can be lacking because some people think they do not need the basic knowledge, education or some kind of formal training in order to perform certain jobs. They think they can learn it on the job when in reality they can not and that causes problems for everybody else. The results of lacking education are high rate of turn over and people getting fired. Education, then, is the difference between “this is my job” and “this is my profession.” From the “this is my job” perspective, however, education is a business so students have to study things they do not need and that, then, becomes one of the main reasons we have people who are unprofessional all over. It is like in sports we have athletes who are amateurs and those who are professionals.
Another important aspect of the concept of professionalism is that for getting a job it does not matter how educated you are because at the end you get the job if you know someone or someone knows you. This is not based on merit or capacity. We see it today, for example, in the government and its nepotism. Social norms bring about networks where employees who have large networks and practice healthy networking skills make themselves different from those who have small or no network and do not know the first thing about starting or maintaining social skills necessary for networking.
Professionalism also has a lot to do with a person’s character and upbringing because how we are raised by our family and friends shows how quickly and how well and completely we do the tasks we have at work. This is called work ethic and it is formed in youth. A bad work ethic indicates lack of professionalism. Maybe the employee is not lazy, but still does fall short of being professional. It is like in sports that we have athletes who are amateurs and those who are pros.
Lack of education, lack of merits, and bad work ethic all define the people who are unprofessional. It takes much work to educate people, to train them to competencies, and to get them to practice good work habits. All these things are necessary to make people professional at what they do instead of them to be doing something and call it their profession.