A promotion to management changes your life as well as your wallet. With the new title comes an increase in pay and responsibility. Your professionalism as a new manager is critical to your success. The last thing you want to do as a manager is to have someone hear you tell a crude joke -- or to look as if you're ready to audition for a pole dancing gig. Developing professionalism is a characteristic vital to your career and longevity as a manager.
A true professional adheres to the ethics or standards of a profession. In an office environment, this includes conduct, appearance and the way you interact with others. It's just common sense that as a professional, you shouldn't pop your gum, smell as though you just worked out at the gym, or use profanity in the office. You also shouldn't gossip with the girls or talk about people behind their backs.
While managers aren't the only ones in an office who should exhibit professionalism, as a manager, you need to set a standard for others. Professionalism in the office is also called office etiquette. As a manager, you need treat everyone with respect. You need to listen and not interrupt when someone is speaking. You also need to keep your emotions at bay -- and your discussions centered on facts. Office etiquette involves a professional code of conduct that you cannot compromise.
Accountability and Character
Professionalism as a manager also means that you hold yourself accountable for your own words and actions, as well as the behavior of your staff. When someone on your staff makes a mistake, you need to recognize your responsibility for the mistake -- and make it clear to your supervisor that you will do your best to ensure that the mistake doesn't occur again. You must demonstrate integrity, honesty and a strong character. This means that instead of placing the blame on someone else, you need to work to remedy the actual problem -- without belittling anyone. You should use errors and mistakes as learning experiences both for yourself and your staff.
As a manager, you need to present a professional image -- in other words, you need to look the part. You should always have a polished appearance -- clothes that are clean, pressed and fit properly. You can keep an extra pair of pumps, a blazer, or a designer scarf in the office to dress up any outfit if you have to attend an impromptu meeting or lunch. Your hair should also be clean and styled appropriately to suit you company's culture. If you were planning on getting pink streaks in your hair before your promotion to manager, you might want to consider if pink-streaked hair will convey the professional image you want.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.