Professionalism - What it is and Why it’s Important:
Professionalism in the simplest form of the word means showing integrity in business, to take it a bit deeper it means treating others with the same courtesy and respect that you would want to receive.
In the part of the candidate, as you are interviewing for a new role or position, it means being on time for interviews, treating others with kindness and respect and following through on your commitments. Unfortunately not all people show professionalism as they move through the recruitment and hiring process. It seems like some people have a blatant disregard for what effect their actions have on others. Recently I’ve witnessed consultants quit with no notice, be repeatedly late for interviews and go as far as to accept an engagement and then completely disappear from the radar without so much as an email or phone call to politely explain why they decided to change their mind. Not only do these actions have direct and negative results on the company and recruiter that represents the candidate/consultant but it could also have immediate and lasting effects on the career of the individual that displays such lack of professionalism.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Healthcare IT industry is large, but also a very tight knit community, news travels fast in the industry and it doesn’t take many unprofessional acts to become black-listed. Recruiters talk to each other, managers talk to each other and consultants talk to each other. It can only take one instance of unprofessional behavior to ruin a promising career.
Remember to take the following steps and your career should always be on an upward path:
1. Always treat others with respect, even if they don’t return the favor. Kill them with kindness. This doesn’t mean you have to tolerate disrespect, it just means to take the high road.
2. Be on time for all your interviews, meetings, phone calls etc. If you’re going to be late or need to cancel – alert the appropriate parties.
3. NEVER quit a job with no notice. Always try to provide a minimum of a 2 week notice.
4. NEVER accept a job / contract / engagement / commitment unless you are absolutely sure you can follow through and if for some reason you accept and then must decline – by all means call the appropriate people and give an honest explanation. Hearing “Unfortunately I’ve decided this position isn’t going to work out for me” is always better than no communication at all. Also, If you need time to make a decision, ask for it.
5. Remember that it isn’t about other people’s actions. You can only control your own behavior so hold yourself to high level of integrity and your career will always be on the right path.
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