5 Chapter 1 Professionalism Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc. LinkedIn is an example of a professional networking site. Evan Lorne/Shutterstock.com They are eager to learn new tasks and make an effort to have productive relation- ships with those around them. People who have positive attitudes are generally more resilient. Resilience is a person’s ability to cope with and recover from change or adversity. Resilient people are able to aptly handle challenges in one aspect of their lives while not letting it affect other aspects. They can bounce back even when they feel as if they have been knocked down. You can learn to develop a positive attitude and resilience by looking at the good things rather than dwelling on the bad. Realize that there are things that you can change to improve a situation and some things you cannot change. Learn to work with or around the things that cannot be changed. Understand that you are not personally responsible for everything that happens around you. You can choose to have a positive outlook or negative outlook on your life. Image of a Professional An image is the perception others have of a person based on that person’s dress, behavior, and speech. It is what people remember about a person from business, professional, and even social interactions. A professional image is the image an individual projects in the professional world. A positive professional image projects honesty, skill, courtesy, and respect for others. First impressions are usually lasting impressions. Those with whom you come in contact will most likely begin forming an opinion of you immediately, whether or not they realize it. They may not know about your education or other credentials, but the image you project can influence whether you are a person with whom they want to become acquainted. Image begins with the way you look, but it goes well beyond what a person can see. Your behavior is equally important. Professionals have a positive attitude and a friendly disposition. They avoid gossip, negative comments about their employ- ers and coworkers, and inappropriate subject matter when engaged in conversation with others. Professionals exhibit confidence through body language and good man- ners. Initiating an introduction and handshake is a sure sign of an individual who understands the importance of soft skills. Good communication skills, especially listening, are valuable in any business or social situation. Networking is also an important element of a person’s pro- fessional image. Networking means talking with people you know and developing new relationships that can lead to potential career or job opportunities. A professional network is a group of professionals you know and who know you. These people are supportive in your career endeavors and may or may not be social friends. LinkedIn is an example of a professional networking site that should be used for professional purposes and not a popu- larity forum. Often, you are judged by the company you keep. Be conscious of those in your professional network. They can be an important part of your professional image. A professional image can have an impact on a person’s ability to get a job, earn promotions, and stay employed. Your career opportunities can be enhanced or hindered by how you demonstrate professionalism.
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