What is professionalism?
  • A state of mind?
  • An action?
  • A word?
  • Organization?

As stated in Webster’s:
Professionalism n:The conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.
Professional n:Engaged in one of the learned profession; characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession; engaged in by persons receiving financial return.

Do you have it?
  • On time to appointments
  • Communication with your retailer and consumer
  • Vulgar language or mannerisms
  • Appearance- neat or?
  • Organization or Disorganization?
  • Work vehicles clean and neat inside and out?
  • Tool box organized?
  • Vehicle dash board is the office and junk area?
  • Supplies and tools to do the job correctly?
  • Actions at work (work habits), and actions when not at work
  • Education, relating to your business and trade
  • Desire
  • Attitude

Characteristics of a Professional
  • Professionals are considered experts.
  • Professionals have the capacity to solve problems.
  • Professionals have a high degree of generalized and systematic knowledge, and share that knowledge with others.
  • Professionals apply their knowledge to their business and work habits.
  • Professionals are enthusiastic and are committed to their business and their industry.
  • Professionals are respected by their peers.
  • Professionals have a commitment to continuous education for their profession.
  • Professionals have a high degree of self-control of their behavior and are governed by a “Code of Ethics.”
  • A code of ethics is a statement of values. It ensures a high quality of service. It guarantees competency of membership, honor and integrity.
Criteria of a Professional

Training:There is an extensive period of continual training, formal and on the job.
Independence:Professionals can work independently and charge fees understanding that they are business owners who provide a valuable service to the consumer and retailer.
Dedication:Professionals are dedicated to providing quality service and keeping their clients happy.
Pride: Professionals take pride in the quality of their work and do the job with the attitude of doing it right the first time.
Working with peers:They are active in professional associations.
Communication:Professionals have a positive attitude when speaking with clients. They have the ability to negotiate fair compensation for services rendered.
Organization:A professional shows up on time and ready to work. They arrive prepared with tools and supplies.
Character:It’s how you act even when no one is looking.

How to achieve Professionalism
  • Take action
  • Change to positive work habits
  • Do what is right even if it takes longer
  • Continuing education
  • A change of ATTITUDE
  • Attitude gets reflected in the job that we do.

Questions to ask yourself about your attitude
  • Do you go to work with the attitude of making money or earning money?
  • Do you work only to look forward to Friday?
  • Do you go to work because the trade you are in is the only thing you know but you don’t enjoy what you do?
  • Are you going to work on Monday with a hangover instead of being ready to take on a full days work?

What are we lacking?
  • Total industry support of manufacturer, retailer, installer
  • Fair compensation for quality workmanship
  • Installers/ retailers who do not commit to continual training and education of their trade

Professions have responsibilities to other professionals! That means manufacturers, retailers and installers working together. We are all equal partners for the overall satisfaction of the client who really deserves a professional.

Here are tips that help promote you as a professional while on the job.
  • Show up when you say you’ll show up or call the customer and let them know you’re delayed.
  • Look professional. Wear clean clothes, be clean shaven, and have an overall neat appearance.
  • Be courteous and respectful to the customer.
  • Remember to respect the home or the building which you are working in.
  • If you are concerned with hanging pictures, ask the customer to remove them from the walls while you work.
  • Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) to avoid tripping breakers. Tripping a breaker may cause a financial liability if the customer has sensitive electrical equipment being used on the same breaker. You do not want to “snoop” around to find the circuit box to reset the breaker.
  • Take cell phone calls either outside or in your work truck; do not discuss your other business or personal calls within hearing range of your customer, they don’t care about your other business or your personal life.
  • Place a wipe off mat at the point of entry that you will be using especially during wet or snow conditions.
  • Consider two pairs of shoes, street shoes while outdoors and white soled shoes that you wear indoors. Shoe covers will work also.
  • Do not park in the homeowners driveway if possible, park on the street. This avoids any question of oil spills even if your vehicle does not leak fluids.
  • No tool boxes directly on any floor; use pads under the tool box or leave the tool box just outside your point of entry when possible.
  • No tools on counters or window sills.
  • Use dust containment systems if using grinding equipment and mask off areas to minimize any dust.
  • No beverages in the work areas. Drinks preferably should be kept outside.
  • No beverages on window sills.
  • Leave the area cleaner than you found it. Vacuum, and sweep walks and driveway of any debris from your work.
  • Keep an organized work truck; you never know when someone may look inside. What type of impression will you leave?

I know there are many more items that can be added to this list. If you just practice being a professional remember, “Practice makes perfect.” Now you have the opportunity to raise the level of professionalism for yourself and the industry. So do your part, have the passion and desire to succeed, and be a professional; then you’ll have leverage and confidence to negotiate a fair compensation for your services!