Amidst the lack of opportunities, lies idle opportunities waiting to be tapped from, but the opportunists are often missing in the field or not ready with the potentials of professionalism. There are factors that makes one a professional person, and walking on the route of success with intention of receiving a hand-up from professionals without readiness for professionalism, is a vein venture, as no professional person would want to waste his or her time working with unprofessionals.
Now talking about professionalism (uncountable noun); as status, methods, character or standards expected of a professional or of a professional organization. Those characters are what I regard as factors that makes one a professional.
Without having those factors or qualities, it will be quite uneasy in convincing a professional person about your professionalism, especially when one is still an amateur in the field. No professional wants to have or hire an amateur for any project(s). It doesn’t mean that amateurs can’t be giving opportunities, every professional person was one time in life an amateur.
So what makes one an amateur, is really not lack of experience, but lack of the factors/ qualities of professionalism. Some amateurs have more potentials or professional qualities than the professionals in some fields. There are some professionals that one would consider amateurs, because of the qualities they lack as professional people.
There are many factors that determines one’s level of professionalism. But amongst those factors are these four(4) most crucial ones.
Reliability: How trustworthy are you? If someone can not depend on you for accomplishment of a project, even out of their sight, then you’d be doing some harm to your career. Nobody wants to hire a person that will abandon their projects once they are out of sight.
Accepting to handle a project, means doing that project effectively and efficiently, even out of the sight or seeing of the owner or supervisor, you don’t need to apply the method of ‘eye service ‘, in a project that is entrusted to you or your care. That means working when the owner is around, then lazying when the owner is out of sight.
Once you are known for unreliability, getting people to trust you enough with their jobs or projects can be very daunting, as you’d be considered an amateur regardless of the potentials you possess in the field or your technical know how. Knowing how to do a work is one thing, doing that work effectively and efficiently is another and most important thing.
Discretion: How circumspect are you? If you can’t be vigilant enough to sense danger and avoid risks that will affect the resources you are working with, once you are known as a worker that wastes or doesn’t utilise resources judiciously, getting opportunities can be very rare.
E.g. Working as a reception can be very daunting if you don’t know how to utilise computer ink, unnecessary printing can make a Boss consider one an amateur. Before printing any document, correct the necessary errors that might lead to reprinting, so as to avoid waste of ink.
One might run out of ink in printing irrelevant or errorful documents and when the need arises in printing the actual stuff, the last thing a professional boss wants to hear is “Sir/ Ma’am we are out of ink”. What have you being doing with the ink? And why saying it now without finding a solution prior? These are questions that can leave one with a mouth wide open before one’s boss.
As a professional person or one who aspires to be professional, risk management is one of the qualities of professionalism. Don’t take risks that will affect the resources of your employer. Even if self employed, you wouldn’t want to waste resources that will create high expenditures for you, regardless of your income rate.
Consistency: If you are not self employed, how often do you change your job? There are people that can’t work in one firm for one year, they have a problem of inconsistency, you’d see them working here today, and tomorrow you’d see them carrying files around in search of something new.
Not because they were fired, but because they can’t cope with seeing the same environment and same people everyday. Absolutely not because of payment rate, some are well paid but yet can’t stick to one job.
No company wants to hire someone that will leave soon after being trained and familiarised with the clients. It’s a waste of the company’s capital, if they’ll have to employ new set of workers and train them on monthly basis because the previous ones couldn’t stay longer as required.
Once you are recognised with inconsistency of job, there’ll come a point when no employer would want to look into your CV, just by seeing the name. News go viral especially bad ones. Once you are reported to be involved in job prostituting, one day you’d end up without job.
Punctuality: I’d say ‘punctuality’, is the mother of all the factors. Recognising ‘time as money’, how timely are you always to pitching sessions? This is one of the reasons why Africa is still underdeveloped, we don’t respect time in this part of the world.
It always sounds like a joke when you making appointment with someone and you might hear the person saying, “No African time please”, that means Africans have their own kind of timing which is too bad.
As a professional or aspiring to be one, mastering the act of timing is one thing that will attract professionals to you, nobody wants his or her time to be wasted by another.
Create a personal calender or schedule reminder that will always enable you to carry out your appointments effectively, without having to affect another person’s appointment and schedule, people have lots on their desk, and wasting their time means taking them away from tasks that needs to be worked.
In Africa telling someone 8:00 AM and hoping for the person to stick to the time, is a big waste of your time. Except the person understands ‘time cautiousness’, else always create additional time within your mind that is outside the appointed time. Sad as it may, but that’s the truth.
I’ve often had to block some contacts that always ask for pitch up, without having to turn up, and with no prior information or notice from them, except I had to call and found out myself that the appointment had been cancelled or rescheduled even without notice.
Now, if I must make an appointment with an African that I personally don’t know their level of professionalism, he or she must already be in the venue of the appointment at least five(5) minutes earlier and sending me a GPS location to prove their presence there.
Aspiring to be successful in your dealings and hoping to meet potential investors or a hand-up from professionals, means you are ready for time management. No professional wants to give out his or her time to a person that doesn’t understand time cautiousness and time management.