Be Professional, have professionalism

What constitutes the big P?

* Professionalism is not just small talk, good grooming, or an appealing physical appearance.

* It’s not honed skill or inborn talent.

* It is character strength and unwavering values — this applies across fields.

Tips to sail through 3 common crisis situations
[1] Heartbreak
In love. Out of it. A broken relationship. Worse still, a failed marriage. These ups and downs are part of everybody’s life. A close co-worker may sense that you are feeling blue, and may even casually comment that you’ve stopped disappearing for those mysterious cellphone conversations.

React smart: Instead of putting on a false brave, touch-me-not front, you could just grin: “Relationship trouble. Who doesn’t go through that!”

But then: Don’t pour out your heart and soul to the first co-worker who shows concern. You’d rather save the personal stuff for your 3 am buddy, not an acquaintance five cubicles away. Don’t make him/her repent for having asked.
[2] Illness/hospitalisation
If a relative/close friend has taken ill, or has been hospitalised, and you aren’t able to take too many days off, try not to overreact (at work and otherwise). Ask yourself if the patient requires your physical presence, or needs you to complete certain chores. This will help you determine the extent to which you need to visit the hospital; try not to hang around for too long.

React smart: Heading to work for a few days, or on alternate days, could actually help you. Many people believe that work can keep them going in times of crisis; if you’re blessed with supportive, understanding co-workers, even better.

But then: The point of working during a crisis is not to turn into a workaholic, or use work to escape from real life; it’s to maintain balance.
[3] Financial trouble
One of the main reasons for our presence in the professional world — paapi pet ka sawaal. So, it’s only natural to get demotivated if you find yourself in the red one fine day — reason notwithstanding. Try not to allow the natural dip in self-esteem to get to you.

React smart: Instead, look for an alternative source of income, over and above that earned from your regular job. Ask your manager if you could do an extra (part-time) shift. If you start work a bit late, consider giving early morning tuitions. If you have a way with words, you could freelance with a magazine or website.

But then: Don’t overburden yourself. There’s only so much you can take on — physically and mentally.

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