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Feb 20 2017
by Katie Kim

7 Steps To Professional Excellence

By Katie Kim - Feb 20 2017

When you're out looking for a job, out looking for an internship or simply communicating with others in an environment that calls for formality, it's crucial to always maintain professionalism. Professional excellence is what makes for a stronger candidate as well as a stronger first impression — both necessary in any work field or similar atmosphere. These are ways to develop and keep the professionalism in you. 

1. Dress for the occasion. 

It's true that looks aren't necessarily everything, but it certainly doesn't hurt to try to look put together for a job interview or a day in an office. Keeping yourself looking tidy will convey to others that you care about what's at hand and that you mean business. In other words, your favorite comfort tee and jeans is probably not the way to go. 

2. Follow all policies and guidelines "to a T."

The worst (and easiest) way to get on someone's bad side is to violate established policies and guidelines. They're there for a reason — most likely to maintain structure and prevent disorder or conflict in a work environment — so respect them. No crossed boundaries means a happier life for everyone. 

3. Stay positive and spread good energy. 

It's great to be serious in an environment that requires your utmost attention to detail and business, but it's equally as important to not forget your smile. Bright personalities and big smiles are attractive and you're bound to be appreciated and liked by others no matter where you are. 

4. Be supportive — you're not the only one in this. 

Being supportive is especially important in a work environment to establish healthy bonds with co-workers. You're all in this together, which means that you'll often share the same struggles and dilemmas. Don't be just a co-worker. Be a friend that people can depend on and you will be rewarded in the future. 

5. Be confident (even if you may not be so sure). 

Nobody likes a person who is constantly unsure of what he/she wants and what he/she thinks. Be confident in everything you do — even if you may be wrong. Confidence helps people gain more trust in you and it will definitely take you far if you're in the process of going to interviews and looking for jobs. 

6. Be clear and firm with your words and gestures. 

Always make eye contact, initiate firm handshakes, speak clearly and don't be nervous. These are all small acts in comparison, but they are equally as important in a work space or any professional situation. It doesn't get more professional than this. 

7. Be authentic. 

The phrase "fake it till you make it" might not be so fitting for when you're in a professional field. The last thing anyone wants is to realize that you're not what they thought you were. Especially in a working environment, it's important to stay true to yourself so there are no surprises. 

No matter where you need to be or what you want to do, professionalism will always get you one step closer. Remember these tips and you'll be on your way to success. 

Lead Image Credit: Ben Rosett via Unsplash

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Katie Kim - University of Georgia

Katie Kim is a junior editor for Fresh U. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Georgia majoring in Journalism. She loves candy (particularly Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish) and loves to sing and dance (even though she is not good at either of those activities). Follow her on Instagram where she shares some of her happiest moments :)

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