career

13 Professional Habits You Should Implement

Considering professionalism is an expectation that goes without saying in any career, it’s important to cultivate habits and disciplines that will set you up for success in the workplace.

Here are 13 professional habits you should be implementing now if you’re not already.

Show up 15 minutes early

Though the saying “better late than never” does have some truth to it, it’s better to never be late.

Ever heard the saying that if you are on time, you’re late, and if you’re early, you are on time? Striving to early allows for additional time for the roadblocks that many people see as excuses for a lack of punctuality. Plan to show up 15 minutes early to everything you do, and you likely won’t have to fear to be late again.

Be the first one in the office and the last one out

Though you don’t have to maintain this precedent for your entire career, being the first one in the office and last one out – at least while you are new to any position or company – will help you gauge the pace of your team. Additionally, it will help you remain disciplined to put in more hard work and show your peers your dedication.

Communicate directly

Sarcasm can be funny in high school, but communication is critical to your growth and success. In a fast-paced or growing company, it’s likely that your boss isn’t going to be assessing your every need or handing out raises left and right.

You are your own advocate, so speak up, and be forthcoming about what you want and need to be successful in the workplace.

Learn when to be “off”

Though the mindset of work-life balance is being shifted to a work-life harmony, being “off” is still important to your rest and recovery.

In a fast-paced culture where we can access our email at any hour of the day, boundaries are important. However, sometimes not checking your messages can give you more stress than if you quickly glimpsed at them.

Know your limits, be present, set boundaries, and make sure you carve out time to be both on and off the clock in a manner consistent with your lifestyle.

Respond within 12 hours

Respond within 12 hours to any communication. Some people will say 24 hours is common courtesy, but in my experience, 12 is best.

If you only check your inbox once a day, make sure you’re communicating with the people who are contacting you even if it’s to say that you’ve received their inquiry and that you’ll have a response within a certain timeframe.

Allow for extra time

Be careful not to over or underestimate your time, or how long it may take you to accomplish certain projects. Always budget more time than less, but if you struggle with this, try using a project management solution, or even a stopwatch and note on your phone to see how long it takes you to complete tasks.

Own your mistakes

Rather than casting blame, take personal responsibility for anything you may not have done fully and correctly. Apologize sincerely, learn how to improve, and adjust for the future.

Dress the part

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Your clothing communicates the message you want to send, the respect you have for yourself, and sets the tone for your first impression. If you need more help on this topic, check out this article.

Stay off your cell phone

Though cell phones are an effective way to communicate, being on your phone at the wrong moment can send a negative impression. Even if only to take notes, staying on your phone during a meeting appears unprofessional. Try another communication channel like Slack instead.

Plan your day

Planning out your day or even your week will help you prioritize the objectives and projects you need to accomplish. This mindset takes a proactive approach to your work instead of reacting to issues as they arise. Planning out your day will take away the constant need to put out fires and allow you to better focus.

Learn to do things yourself

We’ve all witnessed that one person who just can’t seem to figure things out without any assistance. From storing files to staying on track, we’ve all been around someone who just appears clueless.

Instead of being reliant and asking for help on every project, take initiative to develop new skills or watch tutorials on your own time instead of constantly and consistently relying on others.

Find a mentor

Mentorship can be instrumental to the growth in your career. Find a mentor who’s willing to watch you thrive, and make this part of your continuing professional development.

Know your value

Know the areas that you specialize in bringing and adding value to a team, and exercise them well. Knowing your strengths will allow you to contribute better to any and every team you’ll be a part of, and will also make you indispensable to your employer.

Don’t work for less than what you are worth, and know your value so you can ensure you’re being compensated accordingly.

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  • One of the biggest reasons why Americans don’t travel abroad – other than not having a passport – is the cost of airfare. Rising taxes, hidden fees, and baggage add-ons don’t help, but if you can manage to travel only with a carryon and during the offseason, then it IS possible to travel frugally. ⠀
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My roundtrip from Cincinnati to Iceland? $300⠀
Chicago to Paris? Close to $350⠀
One way from JFK to London? $290 ⠀
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I don’t usually travel outside of the U.S. during Q4 (because it’s expensive) but I’ve got Colombia, Peru, Iceland again, and wherever we decide to go on our honeymoon on my list for 2020. I’ve written a list of the biggest ways I save money on plane tickets #ontheblog. ⠀
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Where do you want to go in 2020?
  • *me, looking to find something witty to say about the time change; really it’s all a racket by the federal government*🇨🇭photo taken during my trip to Switzerland this past spring with an overpriced latte
  • Damn what a month. 4+ AIER titles on Amazon, wedding planning in full swing, clients served, and my article reprinted by @entrepreneur!? Like what!? 😳 
You CAN turn your passion into your dream career. It’s not easy but the adventure is worth it. ❤️ Read the full article at the #linkinbio
  • Five years ago & a lifetime to go. #PerfectlyPierce ❤️
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  • As a 10-year-old “Mengele Twin,” Eva Kor suffered some of the worst of the Holocaust. At 50, she launched the biggest manhunt in history. In her 80s, she circled the globe to promote the lesson her journey taught: healing through forgiveness.
When I first heard her message about forgiveness in 2014, it challenged me to reflect on my life and live with more intention.
My recent travels to Israel not only emphasized her message but how important freedom is for ALL people – regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, identity, etc.
"Eva: A-7063," tells the full, astonishing story of Eva, tracking her from Auschwitz to Israel to the United States - even into the U.S. Capitol for her jaw-dropping arrest - and ultimately to her courageous return to the Nazi death camp. It reveals her hidden pain, unbridled rage and unextinguished love for humanity that transformed her into an international spokeswoman followed by millions.
I'm excited to partner with the Indianapolis chapter of @affnetwork, @aierdotorg, and the Indianapolis chapter of @bastiatsociety to bring Eva's story to the Indy community with a free community screening this Sunday at the Indiana Historical Society.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the screening will begin at 6 p.m. A Q&A session will follow with the director of the film, Ted Green. A reception with appetizers and drinks will take place afterward in the Indiana Historical Society lobby.
Tickets for the reception are $10 and proceeds will benefit @candlesmuseum in Terre Haute, Indiana.
I hope you'll join us for what I know will be an impactful event. (Register for tickets at the #linkinbio.)
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I've written and edited A LOT of résumés, cover letters, CVs, and LinkedIn profiles. What annoys me the most at the start of any editing process is the giant "OBJECTIVE" that's slapped on right after contact information. 
Your objective is to get the job, not to awkwardly put your five-year plan above what already speaks for itself – your experience. Plus, you'd be better off talking about your career objective/goals in person with the interviewer so they can ask you follow up questions. (Sometimes, it's okay to purposefully be a little vague!) As we quickly approach the new year, check out my website for more résumé tips if your goal is to land your dream job in 2020.
(I have room in my October schedule to review 5 résumés fo' free; shoot me a message if you want to take me up on it.)
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If there's anything I've learned in the last decade, it's that there is no such thing as the "perfect time" and that opportunities will arise when you least expect them. 
So just say "yes," and you'll figure it out afterward. (Read more about my unconventional career on my website. #linkinbio)
  • Guess what day it is...👀🐫
  • Ready to go back to camel rides, endless falafel, and adventuring in one of the most beautiful places in the world now pls 🌍

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