This post could be extremely short – because professionalism is critical to success.

For many young professionals, there’s a sharp dichotomy between their personal and professional lives. While in the office, they’re on point with their tasks and more than capable to fulfill any assignment; on the weekends, their lives are reminiscent of the bad boys and bad girls of reality TV. That’s fine (as long as you don’t put the damning evidence in tagged photos on Facebook), but problems start arising when a laissez-faire attitude is brought back to work on Mondays.

What is professionalism? Professionalism is putting your company or organization’s needs first. Professionalism is striving to be valuable to your company or organization. Professionalism is putting your ego aside and doing what’s right. Professionalism is being affable to your coworkers, but not treating the office like a social club.

Professionalism is one of the keys to success. Conducting yourself as a professional signals to your coworkers that you are to be respected. Professionalism shows leadership ability to your coworkers and bosses. It signals that you take your job seriously. It’s synonymous with success.

For those who are talented at what they do, a host of negative behaviors may start to creep up. No one enjoys working with a know-it-all who is intent on showing up his/her coworkers. No one enjoys working with a braggard. Similarly, for employees who may be new to a job, they may choose to rely too much on showmanship to leave an impression. Again, that’s a mistake. Employees who may struggle on the job may lose their cool, venting their frustrations. As my father told me, the first one to lose their cool is the loser. Don’t do it – remain a professional no matter the circumstances.

So, why is professionalism important in the workplace? Simple: it’s the building block for all success.

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