Aloha Readers! Apologies for the extended break in writing, I just relocated to a brand new city! The preceding blog post is written with the hope that when you become successful (if you aren’t already) in business, you will avoid the pitfalls of the professionalism paradigm discussed below.
Before embarking on my professional career, I held an idealistic view of the corporate world and business professionals in general. I naively believed professionals acted professional ALL the time, as if it were ingrained in them. As I grew up and launched my career within the constructs of corporatism, I realized professionalism was primarily an act and some were simply better actors than others. I’ve always considered myself a naturally professional individual beginning with my humble familial roots conditioned to be well-spoken, well-mannered, upright demeanor, and so forth. Having researched employee case studies, reflecting on my own professional ventures, and conversing with acquaintances about their experiences with the idea of professionalism in the workplace, I realized that much of it is a stage for actors. Allow me to explain.
A script is written, often by Hollywood. The westernized arena of the professional world is marred by the recruitment videos of the early 60’s; movies depicting ruthless but clean business dealings and an under-arching belief that professionals are completely capable of doing the jobs they are tasked to complete. The real world often contains characters unfit to handle the tasks they attempt to perform; yet they lead organizations and divisions nation-wide. This script can also be referred to as social conducts, social conformity, and organizational socialization processes.
Organizational socialization is crucial to the formation and production of actors (potential employees). For example, it’s not always enough if you have the credentials for the job, but it’s a question of do you fit within the corporate culture or do you know someone within the company to make an introduction? A free-enterprise economy, also known as capitalism, sets a professional standard defined by an organizational structure and culture, and keeps its minions shackled to the expectations of advancement through capital gain.
Examples of professionalism gone awry in a business setting are as follows:
- Double standards of professionalism. Employer can get away with not demonstrating a high level of professionalism whilst the employee must continue to maintain theirs.
- Experience is everything, even if the individuals are nothing (of substantial value that is).
- Do what you’re told, not what you see. (Because the current idea and standing of professionalism is an illusion).
- If you don’t fit the business self-image, you’re out. Not everyone fits into a designated molding of the illusory concept of the business wo/man; yet their talents, skills, and contributions are disregarded if they do not fit the mold.
Whether you’re a freelancer, working for a corporation, a start-up, or self-employed, professionalism is crucial in all areas of business and personal life; however this standard and idea of professionalism must not be restricted to a limited arena as corporate culture, mainstream cinema, or any other form of unrealistic expectation. This causes an imbalance in our economic infrastructure and rejects people not based on their talents and skills, but on not conforming to an absurd standard of a business image imposed upon us through irrational, unequal means.