Being Professional Tips

Read these 30 Being Professional Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Personal Growth tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How do I stand?

Body Language

Use positive body language. Positive body language shows clients that you are happy to serve them. You can convey this by smiling and paying attention to the person. Stop doing other activities and listen to the person's concerns. Attend to those concerns or direct the person to someone who can help without sending the person on a "wild goose chase."

   
How do I handle rude people?

Rude people

Be tactful with rude people. You may have a bad day but you cannot show your feelings to the people you serve. On the other hand, if the public is rude to you, be patient and courteous. Count to ten silently and slowly, then respond politely and positively. When necessary, give instructions slowly and clearly--even if you are doing so for the tenth time that day. If you do not have the correct information, route the client to the appropriate person.

   
How do I answer phones?

Phones

Be polite, pleasant and courteous when answering the telephone. The way in which a telephone is answered conveys an image of the institution. Since there is no visual and physical contact between the caller and the person who answers the telephone, you must project courtesy despite your state of mind. The voice should be pleasant. Instead of anger or sarcasm, warmth, sincerity and concern should be projected. Even when rushed, try to appear calm and unhurried while leading the call to a conclusion. Always be polite.

   
How should I do?

Do your best.

Do your best. Mediocrity is unacceptable when you are capable of doing better.

   
Should I chew gum?

Gum

Avoid blowing and popping gum in the office. Seeing a bubble in an employee's mouth or the chewing and popping of gum can distract and annoy a client who is trying to exchange information. This behavior appears to be very unprofessional and distorts the communication process between employee and client. Furthermore, the popping or cracking sound of gum in the mouthpiece of a telephone should also be avoided since the sound is magnified and may have a negative effect on the caller.

   
How do I handle a mistake?

Making a Mistake

When you make a mistake at work it may be upsetting and you may have to do damage control. If you are feeling bad however, just ask yourself, what is it going to matter next week, next year? If the answer is nothing, then move on. Don't dwell on it.

   
How do I dress?

Picking Clothes

As for the clothes, bargain shopping is not a problem, if you are a good bargain hunter you can search out great outfits for an inexpensive price. When buying these outfits remember your little added touches can make that outfit look even better. The best thing is to buy mix and match outfits, that way you can get two or three outfits out of one, and that's your best bargain.

   
What shoes do I wear?

Shoes

Shoes are essential, but also costly. There are many bargain shoe stores, and all you need are just a few pair to coordinate with your outfits.

   
Do I eat?

Eating

Avoid eating at your desk when dealing with the public. Lunch or snacks should be eaten privately. A person cannot eat and serve clients at the same time. If you eat onions or any other foods with strong odors, use mints or brush your teeth before attending to clients. Strong food odors are offensive to many people.

   
Should I answer the phone?

Answer Phones

Answer promptly any telephone that rings in the office. When an employee is busy or absent from a desk, and the phone rings, someone else in the office should answer the phone quickly--by the third ring, and do not keep a person on hold for a long time. An unanswered telephone suggests that employees are too busy to service clients. Maybe you are busy, but clients are very important--without them there is no business, no job.

   
How do I fill the void?

Volunteer

Volunteering is a good way to fill voids in your life. If you want to volunteer go through the agency portion of your phone book and call up an agency that interests you and donate your time.

   
How do I write a resume?

Resumes

I would begin your resume revision by focusing on your personal skills. List all of the activities you have taken part in. Emphasize the people-centered shills you used during these activities. Also list any community groups you have participated in.

Make the objective part of your resume general. For instance, an objective may be : To utilize my interpersonal communication skills to enhance any community-based position.

Remember to highlight or bullet the strong points. Limit resumes to one page.

   
Should I cough?

Coughing

Be discreet when coughing or yawning. These are necessary physical functions. However, when done with a wide open mouth, besides being unattractive and distracting, they are also unhealthy. Germs can be easily transmitted from one person to another in this manner. Clients are seeking information or some kind of assistance, not an illness. When coughing or yawning, cover the mouth; if possible use a tissue, and turn away from those around you.

   
How do I do my nails?

Finishing Touches

A very important factor is your finishing touches, or polishing you look. Having your nails and your hair done is key. You don't have to pay someone to do this for you. A home manicure (pedicure if you wear open toe shoes) is sufficient. Wearing you hair up looks more professional, even if it's in a simple french twist with a clip. Make sure to take care of your hair and skin. Keeping up with your daily maintenance will add to your outward appearance.

   
How do I plan?

Planning

Always plan your outfits ahead, the more you plan the less money you spend on items you will not get much use of. It's touch, especially when first starting off in the working world. You want to look professional, but not use your entire bank account. It's a good idea to put a small portion of each check away for "personal maintenance", updating your style is important in business. Also with the change of seasons, you'll need money to change with them. So planning is basically the key. Save your money, coordinate, plan ahead and mix and match. Good luck!

   
How do I dress?

Don't Overdo

One thing is very important when dressing for success, and that is your accessories. To look nice and stand out it is important to accessorize. You don't want to over do it, just enough to make your outfit look better. For example, simple earings and a light simple necklace. When worn with a suit and can do wonders. A small thin bracelet and a simple ring can finish the look.

   
Should I have a portfolio?

portfolio

You might also have to prepare a portfolio of your work to take along to an interview, or to demonstrate your interest and ability before being chosen.

   
How should I meet a new boss?

Meeting A New Boss

I would be honest with this new person. While you may work together well, this person does not have to be your best friend. There are some great tips about presenting yourself at the site. Other than that, I would just be honest. If you meet with him or her alone, be sure to bring a synopsis with what your programs are or job is, do not assume they know all the little tasks or big tasks of your job. Also, bring new ideas to the table and ask if they are something they approve of. A self-starter is important to a lot of bosses. Good luck!!

   
How do I straighten?

Straightened

We do not recommend that you relax your hair in any way when you first come out of extensions or braids. We have found that both of these services inflict on the hair micro nicks and abrasions. When you relax your hair the relaxer works quicker at these areas or "hot spots" causing an uneven process and usually causing breakage that may not show up until a number of months later. If you must have a straight style, your much better off doing a deep reconstructing treatment and light press the first week. And If you must relax the same day you take out your extensions or braids you must (we really don't recommend this) fill your hair, this is the method of using a process protector on your hair to fill in those hot spots so that you will get an even process and minimize breakage.

   
Do I get a perm while pregnant?

Perm and Pregnancy

A lot of people ask us if we feel it's safe to perm during pregnancy. The answer is yes, if by perm you mean relaxing in any way with any hydroxide based relaxer and not perming with rods using a thio based product. By their nature hydroxides are inorganic, meaning they don't off gas or have volatile compounds in them so we feel they are safe to use during pregnancy, especially with our off scalp technique. Products containing thios' or other volatile compounds on the other hand we usually don't usually recommend at this time because they do off gas.

   
Should I wear a scarf?

Scarfs

Scarfs are coming back in style, they look very professional and are very inexpensive. Buy a few with the same colors as the majority of your outfits. Don't over do it and wear them everyday, but a couple times a week is nice. They also look nice when tied around a bun in your hair. And it's very simple to do. Just twist a bun, secure with bobbypins and tie a rolled scarf around the bun and tuck the ends.

   
How do I shave?

Shaving

The most widespread means of eliminating body hair is shaving. This can be used to remove hair from the legs, underarms, and - with care - the bikini area. A razor combined with a conditioning shave cream or lotion is best used to promote smooth skin. When shaving the legs, it is best to shave against the grain, permitting that the same area is not shaved over more than once. Repeatedly shaving the same spot may cause ingrown hairs.

   
Should I wax?

Waxing

Another popular form of hair removal is waxing. Two types are used, one of which is peeled off with special paper while the other is peeled off after hardening. Waxing is best used for the more sensitive areas of skin, such as the face and bikini area. Waxing is performed both by professionals as well as at home with the use of kits.

   
How do I cure dry eyes?

Dry eyes

Artificial tears, as often as needed. Buy preservative-free brands like Refresh, since contacts absorb chemicals that further irritate your eyes. Left your rewetting drops at home? Close your eyes for 3 minutes for natural rehydration.

   
What gift do I buy?

Gifts

You never "have to give" any gift - and, the marriage of two people in love, along with the traditional events surrounding that marriage, have NOTHING to do with getting gifts... but ... yeah, it's in pretty good taste to do so. The wedding shower gift can be small and light-hearted while the wedding (registry) gift is usually more expensive. If money really is an issue then refer to "it's the thought that counts" clause in your contract with life - you don't have to spend a lot, even on two gifts. Best Regards

   
Should I wear makeup?

Makeup

Avoid applying makeup at the desk. The personal appearance of each employee is very important because the image that is projected can affect the transaction with a client. However, makeup which improves the appearance should be put on before starting to work. It should be applied at home or in the rest room. Applying makeup at the desk implies that the employee has no time to pay attention to a client, so a client may not seek help.

   
Should I use a cream?

Creams

Depilatory creams are another, potent method for hair removal. Consisting of strong chemicals, this method is best used on more rugged skin, such as on the legs or underarms. At most, depilatory creams should be used once or twice per week, depending upon the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

   
How do I color and perm?

Color and Perm for Black Hair

If you plan on both relaxing or perming and colouring your hair. The rule is; you must never perm a colour, you always colour a perm. What this simply means is that you must always do your colour after your perm. If it's a protein colour, also known as colour glazes, your best to do it the same day as your perm, when the cuticle layers of your hair are more open from the perming process. This way the colour will penetrate deeper into the hair shaft. This is both better for the conditioning befit as well as making the colour last longer. If it's a semi or demi-permanent colour, they also may be done the same day, depending on the condition of your hair. However, for all permanent colour we recommend that you book your appointment a week to 10 days after your perm, no more. This is the best possible timing for colouring relaxed or permed hair, if you wait longer than 10 days, the process of combining these two services becomes much more problematic.

   
Should I re-perm?

Reperming

Be aware that when re-perming your hair, different products have very different chemical formulations which may not be compatible with each other. If they are not compatible you could end up seriously damaging your hair and causing severe breakage.

   
Should I get a perm?

Medication and Perms

Medications you may take will also affect your perm. So be sure to tell the salon hairdresser if you are taking medications.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Jolyn Wells-Moran