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Keeping a Professional Attitude

Posted by Valencia on June 17th, 2009

Before becoming a freelance writer and self-employed I worked in office settings, and I knew business people who weren’t exactly professional. What’s more, I hear stories about the business world from my husband, which clearly confirms that some business owners and managers aren’t born with a “professional gene.”

But according to business classes and experts, maintaining a professional attitude is paramount to success. Without a professional attitude, you’re likely to turn off clients and lose business.

I pride myself on being professional; and even when I’ve encountered rude clients or client who didn’t respect my personal time (and life), I’ve managed to maintain a professional attitude. This doesn’t mean I gave into their request or bent over backwards to accommodate their needs. Being professional isn’t being a “yes man or woman,” nor does it involve putting up with a client’s crazy requests.

Early on I was obsessed with finding and keeping clients, and this was evident in the way I dealt with them. I hesitated to speak up and inquire about late payments. I took last minute assignments and spent countless weekends researching and writing. And don’t get me started on assignments that weren’t worth the payout. But you learn and you make wiser choices.

You can be polite, yet firm. You can be professional, and still say “no.”

Through it all I maintained a professional attitude - minus the ONE time I flaked on a project because the client was beyond difficult.

It wasn’t my most professional moment, but everybody reaches their threshold and experiences a temporarily lapse of good judgment.  Nowadays, I deal with situations before they get to this point. It’s how I maintain my professionalism and reputation.


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