Career Center

Assessing Professionalism and Ethics

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A vital part of being a successful employee is learning about the type of behavior that is expected at your workplace. Not all of these behaviors are intuitive or easy to develop, so it is a good idea to practice them in class, co-curricular activities, and at work.

Evaluate your professionalism and ethics:

For each behavior, use the slider to indicate a range between low and high of how often you demonstrate the behavior. Those in italics are considered essential for mastery of this competency.

The closer to low your rating, the less often you demonstrate the behavior.

The closer to high your rating, the more often you demonstrate the behavior.

Behavior Low Rating High Description
Courtesy You show respect to co-workers, supervisors, and clients or customers. You avoid using profanity at work.
Enthusiasm You demonstrate enthusiasm by looking for ways to contribute to the overall goal of the office through your tasks, putting thought, energy, and interest into your work.
Ethics You behave with integrity at all times, and follow ethical guidelines given by your employer. As a part of this, you avoid taking office supplies, making personal copies, sending faxes, etc., without paying for them.
Dependability You arrive punctually every day, stay on task, and complete work as promised and on time.
Grooming You avoid allowing your appearance to distract from your work quality. You wear clothes that fit in with the environment, are attentive to personal hygiene, and avoid wearing perfume or cologne.
Initiative You are motivated to go beyond expectations, when appropriate you suggest ways to make improvements in efficiency or effectiveness, and you offer ways that you can use your skills to support the mission of the office.
Time Management You work at a steady pace, completing your work in a timely manner.
Learning You learn quickly, ask questions as needed rather than later having to undo your previous efforts, and find the level of questioning vs. independence your supervisor prefers.
Personal Matters You avoid spending work time doing personal business, including texting, taking personal phone calls, answering personal email messages, or doing personal web searches. You keep your cell phone off or on silent to avoid being disruptive, and never look at it during meetings with others.
Breaks You limit your breaks to those approved by your employer.
Meetings You learn what is expected of you when attending meetings, and are prepared.
Social Media You avoid criticizing a current or former employer through personal and office social media sites and show good judgment in your photographs and posts.
 

Additional tips to build your professionalism:

  • Ask your employers for feedback about these traits and how well you exhibit them. Internship supervisors, volunteer coordinators, student worker supervisors, team leaders, and faculty members can all give you insight into these factors.
  • Practice these skills in class projects, clubs, email messages, on the job, and when volunteering.

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