No matter where you work, maintaining a professional attitude and adhering to your personal ethics as well as the company's code of ethics only benefits your career. You've never heard of someone being demoted or disciplined for professionalism and good work ethics. On the other hand, you have heard of issues with lack of professionalism and ethics in the workplace, all too often at the top of a newspaper headline. A professional maintains her emotions and cool-headed thinking regardless of the chaos that might ensue around her. A true business professional cannot help but share her core values and ethics.
Professionals are direct, polite and don't allow their emotions to overtake them in the workplace. Instead of reacting to circumstances or people, the professional stops to think about her actions before she responds. She takes action when needed, but avoids being a reactionary person. She treats everyone with the same level of respect, regardless of the positions they hold within the company. She is courteous, mannerly and waits for other people to stop talking before she speaks. She maintains a sense of responsibility and duty that is set at a higher standard than the norm.
Ethics represent the core values you hold or that a company sets in its "Code of Ethics." While ethics might have different meanings at different companies, generally ethics refers to how you behave. A company's code of ethics often requires that you agree to honesty and transparency in your actions, and that you show your co-workers respect regardless of their culture, the color of their skin or their personal beliefs. Ethical people respect the rights and privacy of others as well as the confidential requirements often held by the company for which they work. Ethical people don't talk about others behind their backs in a derogatory manner or engage in office gossip.
A professional businesswoman keeps her integrity intact. When she commits to a project, she takes full responsibility for it and sees it through to completion. She doesn't blame others for the mistakes she makes. She's honest to a fault and fully admits when she is in the wrong. She would not think of stealing office supplies or taking home things from work without permission. She appreciates her professional relationships and spends time on maintaining them.
Someone with a good work ethic doesn't abuse her work privileges. She shows up on time, ready to work. If she is occasionally late, she ensures that the appropriate people are aware by contacting them immediately. If a project requires her to stay past the end of the day to complete it, she will. Even if she doesn't like her boss, she still shows her respect. You won't find a professional with a good work ethic calling in sick to spend a day at the mall. She works within the company's system, fills out required documents and provides ample notice when she needs to take time off.
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.