Saturday, March 24, 2012


I'm praying that shortly after Bambi has her foal (hopefully before April 15th), I will be making my triumphant return to the workforce, and I honestly can't wait.  In addition to being able to adequately pay my bills, I'm really looking forward to starting what will hopefully only be the beginning of my new career.

Yes, I used "hopefully" twice in that paragraph.  I am quite hopeful.  I live on it, baby.

In the last few weeks there hasn't just been "hope" on my mind.  I've also had a lot of instances come up that have made me think about professionalism.  Whether you're a worker bee or managing your own company (or ranch,) professionalism is a very important trait to have.  However, I find myself fairly surprised and somewhat disappointed to see a lack of professionalism pretty much everywhere.

Just as class was ending my instructor asked me if I had applied for a job yet.  I told her I intend to, but I have an upcoming event that will most likely cause me not to perform at my best a work, plus the very real possibility that I could have to take off work for an emergency trip to the vet.  I feel that starting a job when I know I could very well have to take off very soon after starting is not very professional.  Yes, things happen all the time we cannot control and we might have to take off work, but I certainly don't want to start off on the wrong foot with a new employer.  Having to leave work when you just start at a place can seem unprofessional.  This is the last foal that will be born here in the foreseeable future, so I would like to just get through this and then move on.  I am so looking forward to the day when I can start work.  I LOVED my class--it is so incredibly rewarding and for once in my life I feel like I can make a difference in a person's day.  I don't want to take any chances, so I'm playing it safe and trying my best to show my future employer just how professional I can be.

Another item in the news recently, regarding employment, has been Facebook.  Facebook has become a phenomenon--it is a part of a large percentage of the population's everyday life, and the implications of that large demographic are becoming more evident with each passing day.  It is easy to forget that when we are online, we are on stage--our actions, thoughts, posts, photos, etc., are on display when they are online.  Everyone can see them--our employers, our friends, and the people we do business with.  When we rant online, we can show a very non-professional side of ourselves.  I'm not judging--we've all done it.  We all have bad days and we all have bad things happen to us and let's face it--it feels good to rant and gain sympathy from others regarding our circumstance.  However, when we write while emotional, we often do not show our best side and at the same time we become blind to the implications of our words.  A stallion owner ranting about a foal not being shown might think they are simply expressing their opinion on the value of that foal, but other potential customer seeing that might think twice before chancing that the foal they are interested in buying or breeding might become that stallion owner's next rant.  A buyer who rants about a seller might appear difficult to please or work with.  A seller who complains about a buyer always makes me think I don't want to chance buying anything from them, lest things not go perfectly and they complain about me as well.  The point is that our actions can have implications we might not even be aware of, so why chance it?  Is it so difficult to keep ourselves in check?  If it is, then our maturity certainly could be called into question.  Sure, we have every right to voice our feelings, but the question we should be asking is "Should we?" in such a public forum?  Seeing parents fight with kids, people being passive-aggressive and just general negativity can certainly make employers and other people who you might do business with view you in a negative light.

It's not difficult to be professional, but sometimes it isn't easy.  A lot of it has to do with knowing our own demons.  For me, I have to make a very real and intentional effort to be on time.  I know if I am not on top of things, it is very easy for me to be late.  Being late to anywhere--an appointment, a meeting, a class, and certainly to a job, is very unprofessional, not to mention disrespectful.  It says to the other person, "my time is more valuable than yours."  While anytime I have been late I never, ever meant that, part of being professional is knowing the messages we communicate, even unintentionally.  

Another part of being professional is taking accountability for one's own actions.  Being able to say, "yes, I messed up and I apologize, I will do better," is one of the things I admire most in others.  A friend of mine was once late in paying me for a horse.  I brought it to her attention and she immediately said that she was in the wrong and outlined her plan to make it right, which she did.  Ever since that day my respect for her knows no bounds.  It is difficult because to accept accountability sometimes means swallowing our own pride and it's not something we can skimp by on.  False apologies (i.e. "I'm sorry you were unhappy/upset) doesn't work.  We're all human and we all make mistakes, but we only look like we care when we accept the things that we've done wrong and try to correct them.

We seem to live in a society that, as a whole, thinks that they have the "right" to act how they would like, regardless of consequences.  What we need to keep in mind, though, is that there are always consequences, and they aren't always the ones you think.  For example, I ate toast by my keyboard this morning, thinking as long as I was careful it would be fine.  Now my "t" key sicks.  

See...unintended consequences.

Anyway, I certainly don' mean to preach as I am as much in the wrong on professionalism as anyone else.  When I write these sorts of posts they are as much for me as for anyone reading it.  I'm truly lucky in that I have an opportunity to start all over in a new career and honestly making the most of that fresh start preoccupies my mind more than anything else.  If I have to do-over, I certainly want to do-over right, which means taking a mental note every once in a while about the message I'm sending out into the universe--intentional or not.

And on that no e I'll say  a-ta for now!

1 comment:

Alan T Hainkel said...

Very well done and something for all of us to keep in mind...