10 Things Everyone Should Do to be Treated Like a Professional

What is a Professional?  A Professional is someone who a.) gets respect, b.) does not get micro-managed, and c.) usually gets paid more.  Here are 10 things you can do to get treated like a professional (the a. and b. part… where the c. part [higher pay] follows closely behind).

  1. Never, ever, be late.  
    • It’s a small thing, but it’s #1 for a reason.  A Professional is not late, ever, for any reason.  Period.  A Professional might “reschedule”, but they would never be late.
  2. Be where you are when you’re there, and be doing what you’re doing when you’re doing it.
    • This idea is essential!  Never ever multitask.  If someone wants to talk to you, STOP what you are doing, take off your headphones, close your laptop lid (maybe not all the way), and talk to them, eye-to-eye.  Take notes about your discussion, then when the talking is done, resume what you were doing.
    • If you are in a meeting, be in the meeting.. do not check email, do not work, be in the meeting (or not, leave if you must).
  3. Deliver Results, on-time, every time.  
    • Professionals get it done.  NEVER turn it in late or incomplete.
  4. Under-promise and Over-deliver. 
    • Don’t under-promise so low that it’s not useful… but promise only what you are SURE you can deliver.. then do way, way more, every time.
  5. Become an Expert at Personal Time Management.
    • Use a To-Do List System (I like http://toodledo.com & syncs to my phone).
    • EVERY task you are assigned gets put on the list ASAP.
    • Use a Fool-Proof Calendar System (I like http://calendar.google.com & syncs to my phone).
    • EVERY meeting you agree to, gets put in to the calendar ASAP.
    • MANGE YOUR TIME to ensure that #3 and #4 happen, for every thing you commit to, every time.
  6. Never Blame Anyone for Any Mistakes, Ever.  
    • Simply take responsibility to fix it ASAP… and then fix it. (or improve it).  
    • Professionals don’t blame, even when it’s not their fault… it’s moot.
    • Professionals simply recognize the problem, announce it, and then put in place a plan to fix it.  Period.  No blame required.
  7. Be Humble and Share Successes.
    • Professionals “have it”, and they know it.  So they can share it when they succeed.
    • Shared Successes makes you look better.
  8. Be “an Expert” in your field by simply being the most current.
    • Read, read read.  Read blogs, articles, and magazines in your field every day.
    • Go to conferences and be the most current in your field.
    • Be the person people can go to when they want to know what is the latest and greatest in your specific area.
  9. Dress 1-level above your current job.  Every day.
  10. Do not look to others for your validation.  
    • You don’t need other people’s approval, you only need to know you did your best.
Here’s a snapshot of my current Top Priority tasks in Toodledo!

Reaching Higher, Dreaming Bigger, and otherwise being Optimistic

Many people often ask me what is the key to success?  I think there are probably many keys, different for different people… but I do have some initial thoughts to set you on the right path.  Dream Big.

Dreaming Big means having a goal in mind.  Setting an goal, where you can say.. if I get there, I’ll have ‘achieved success’.   Is it a college degree?  A certain salary?  A certain lifestyle?  Whatever it is do not be afraid to first dream big about it!  And reach higher than what you think is possible.

Be optimistic that you could someday achieve it!

Finally, the true key to success that is probably universal for all people is to “be happy with what you have now”…  Human psychology tends to want to keep striving for that next bigger thing… nothing wrong with that.  But what is success anyways?

To be successful, truly, is very simple… be Satisfied with where you are NOW and what you have NOW!   Then, set a big goal ahead and move towards it, just for fun… not to feel that you have to reach it to be successful!  (you already are!)

Be successful with what you are satisfied with now.. then when you achieve more, bigger goals, more salary, whatever… you’re BETTER than what you think of as successful….

YOU ARE UBER-SUCCESSFUL!     Then build on that!

So, to say I’m successful is SO untrue!  I was successful when I had my dream-job as a Lifeguard at Schoonover’s Pool in Lima, Ohio.  

I’m UBER-UBER-UBER…-UBER-UBER-SUCCESSFUL now!  I was successful at 15….  I’ve just dreamed bigger and bigger along the way.