What does it mean to be a professional? Some say signs of a professional include standing up straight, looking the part, speaking with authority, or a firm hand shake. Although those are all behaviors and characteristics that can help you out in the workplace, professionalism is so much more than that.
A publication by Mindtools uses terms like honesty, integrity, competency, accountability, and self-regulation to describe a professional. Based on this and other research pertaining to the topic, we can conclude that all-in-all, a professional acts and speaks appropriately when appropriate. The basic rules of acting right at work are usually not the one’s most workers have trouble abiding by. With all of the business ethics and professionalism courses in college, and all of the employee conduct forms and handbooks, basic expectations within a workplace have become somewhat clear.
The most common unprofessional workplace behaviors are a bit more indirect than stealing or going pants-less to the office. Using publications on unprofessional behaviors by Field Law and Compete Outside the Box, coupled with supplemental information, we grouped the most common unprofessional workplace behaviors into 5 categories (which are in no particular order.)
1. Your Wild and Crazy Night
So last night you went out and had the time of your life. You and a group of a dozen of your friends went out on the town, went to all the best bars and night clubs, and you met the most amazing girl (or guy.) You woke up at your friend’s house just in time for work, barely able to remember what happened for the latter half of the evening.
That’s your business. But it’s probably not something you should share with the rest of the office. Sure, it’s great to share some superfluous information about yourself with your colleagues — maybe tell them about your obsession with the TV show America’s Next Top Model. But talking about drinking or a crazy night out with co-workers may be asking for trouble, and it’s best to leave that out of the office.