NACE competency: Professionalism — Jessica’s Career Tip of the Week

Career readiness is such an important concept in the field of career development, and by applying the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) eight core competencies, you will grow as a future professional, and increase your career readiness levels. At the present time, I am going to illustrate an integral competency that engineers will want to acquire — Professionalism.

According to NACE (2021), professionalism is the ability to “understand and demonstrate effective work habits, and act in the interest of the larger community and workplace,” taking into account that work environments vary.

Professionalism is about how you speak and your professional work image. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have observed individuals in the workplace that lacked professionalism skills. My advice to you is to observe great people who have excellent professionalism skills as well as a good work ethic. Professionalism is about the way you speak, the way you communicate in emails, time management and the way that you dress. Also, make sure that you are dependable by always reporting to work and to your meetings.

First impressions do count! An example that I will give is to make sure you can locate the company worksite before your interview. You wouldn’t want to go to the worksite and then find yourself running around the whole building because you didn’t take the time to locate your worksite beforehand. Imagine how your work image would be negatively impacted after that; especially if your future coworkers in the organization were to observe it. Another important thing you can do is ask your coworkers if you can assist and collaborate with them on projects. This can be impressive to your boss in the workplace. One of my peer career coaches mentioned that this is how she received an offer right before she completed her internship.

You will want to immerse yourself in the work culture by always applying professionalism in the workplace. Be helpful to your team, communicate in a positive way and be accountable to the projects that you are working on for the organization. Also, act ethically and build trust with your team. As a supervisor, it is those who demonstrate having top-notch professionalism skills and a good work ethic that always get noticed.

Reference Cited: 

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). (2021). Retrieved from

**Former Peer Career Coach Richard Rigby and Current Peer Career Coach Lauren Monroe assisted with providing examples for the blog.