Are you a professional?

How you look, talk, write, act and work determines whether you are a professional or an amateur. Society does not emphasize the importance of professionalism, so people tend to believe that amateur work is normal. Many businesses accept less-than-good results.

Schools graduate students who cannot read. You can miss 15% of the driving-test answers and still get a driver license. "Just getting by" is an attitude many people accept. But it is the attitude of amateurs.

·        Don't ever do anything as though you were an amateur.

·        A professional learns every aspect of the job. An amateur skips the learning process whenever possible.

·        A professional carefully discovers what is needed and wanted. An amateur assumes what others need and want.

·        A professional looks, speaks and dresses like a professional. An amateur is sloppy in appearance and speech.

·        A professional keeps his or her work area clean and orderly. An amateur has a messy, confused or dirty work area.

·        A professional is focused and clear-headed. An amateur is confused and distracted.

·        A professional does not let mistakes slide by. An amateur ignores or hides mistakes.

·        A professional jumps into difficult assignments. An amateur tries to get out of difficult work.

·        A professional completes projects as soon as possible. An amateur is surrounded by unfinished work piled on unfinished work.

·        A professional remains level-headed and optimistic. An amateur gets upset and assumes the worst.

·        A professional handles money and accounts very carefully. An amateur is sloppy with money or accounts.

·        A professional faces up to other people’s upsets and problems. An amateur avoids others’ problems.

·        A professional uses higher emotional tones: Enthusiasm, cheerfulness, interest, contentment. An amateur uses lower emotional tones: anger, hostility, resentment, fear, victim.

·        A professional persists until the objective is achieved. An amateur gives up at the first opportunity.

·        A professional produces more than expected. An amateur produces just enough to get by.

·        A professional produces a high-quality product or service. An amateur produces medium-to-low quality product or service.

·        A professional earns high pay. An amateur earns low pay and feels it’s unfair.

·        A professional has a promising future. An amateur has an uncertain future.

·        The first step to making yourself a professional is to decide you ARE a professional. Are you a professional?