Thursday, June 5, 2014

Road to Professionalism – 1: Be a Professional and Look like a Professional.

Having a professional qualification and being a professional is far different. Just qualifying a professional education course does not necessarily give you professionalism. Professionalism is to be learnt in addition to getting the professional degree.

When we understand this word ‘professional’, most of the people have a wrong perception about the word. Many people confuse ‘professional’ with ‘commercial’. Whereas commercial is merely concerned with money, professional is concerned with quality, service and well as monetary terms. So, at first, the perception needs to be cleared.

It is very obvious that we refer the word professional to a person who has got some professional qualification like CA, CS, MBA, Doctor, Engineer, Architect, etc. But the word professionalism means something different. The dictionary meaning of the word professionalism is ‘professional character, spirit or methods’ and another is ‘the standing, practice or methods of a professional, as distinguished from an amateur’. It is quite clear that professionalism involves character, methods, practice and also expertise.

To head towards professionalism from being an amateur, one needs to bear a professional character. Professional character does not mean just to show off like a professional, but a person should possess these qualities. It should be the part of its ‘substance’ and not just ‘form’. Behaving like professional without having it in character is like the wolf wearing the tiger skin. It gets uncovered someday definitely.

Professionalism involves methods to be followed. We may also term it as techniques of professionalism. These techniques may involve proper planning, formation of strategies, delegation of work, handling the people, executing the plans, etc. A professional definitely follows all these techniques to achieve professional success.

Professionalism is not a one day affair. That you behave like a professional for a day and it’s achieved. It requires continuous and consistent practice. It needs to be imparted within a person through practice, practice and practice. And over a period of time this practice gets converted into a professional character.

Professional is a person who is not an amateur, i.e. a beginner. It means that professionalism requires expertise. Expertise is definitely attained through some professional course. But it needs to be maintained. A professional needs to be updated on all aspects of his area of practice. Expertise can be achieved through continuous updation process.

Having these qualities is just a part of being a professional. However, only being a professional is not sufficient, you should also look like a professional. Looking like a professional can mean to include your dressing, grooming up, looks, behavior, etc. However, looking like professional includes much more than having professional attire. It’s not just about attire but it should be about a professional attitude.

So, I briefly conclude the article with the heading – be a professional and also look like a professional.

CA. Amol Gopal Kabra, Latur
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