What is professionalism? To a lot of us young adults, we don’t exactly know. We think of the concept as something achieved once you’ve gotten a full-time job with a salary when you feel like an adult—one who does laundry on a schedule and pays their own bills.
Professionalism is more than just a feeling and it’s more than just a “look.” It’s an attitude you start to learn when you’ve been exposed to more of the real world. So how can you be professional as a young adult moving into the next phase in life? Here are just some of my tips and tricks I’ve learned through the halfway point of my college career:
1—Don’t Be Afraid to Talk to People
Growing up, I was extremely shy and honestly, I still am! One of the things to feel more professional is to introduce yourself to people. A part of talking to people is definitely posture and the way you carry yourself. Stand up straight, shoulders relaxed and pulled back. Be the confident person you are!
2—Network, Network, Network
I can’t stress enough the importance of networking. Networking is your gateway to future employment. Don’t be afraid to talk to a professional at a career fair or any other opportunity. Ask them to grab a cup of coffee with you and talk about how they got to where they are in life. I’ve met so many graduated college students who found careers through getting to know professionals. Next time you go to a networking night or career fair, make sure to talk to the recruiters and find a way to stand out. Oh, and make sure to bring a small stack of resumes!
3—Reflect on Yourself
One of my favorite things to do is journal because it allows me to look at how I’ve grown, check in how I’m doing mentally and emotionally, but also just let out all my angst onto paper. It’s an extremely healthy way to rid yourself of negative energy! Looking back on those reflections, you really get a sense of how much you’ve changed throughout the years. I still look back on my journals from high school and think about all the things that have changed around me—my friends, my goals, and my mindset. It’s very encouraging to see that you’ve made progress from who you once were and you’re truly inspired to keep growing!
4—Up Your Wardrobe!
Upping my wardrobe has definitely made me feel more like a professional young woman ready to take on the world. It’s amazing how much clothes can affect your mood and how you see yourself. I love finding blazers on sale and hunting down the perfect pair of slacks. Even with a business casual wardrobe, you can still have fun—I love taking my favorite blazer and pairing it with different dresses to look more professional, and accessorizing with bags meant for a working woman!
What makes you feel more professional? Leave me a comment below!