How do I improve my professionalism?
Firstly, put yourself in situations that push you to grow.
Leadership roles in student organizations or volunteer opportunities, for
example. The experiences you have in those settings will show you what you are
naturally good at and where you need to improve. At the Professional
Development Center, we think about professionalism across 4 pillars:
Leadership, Communication, Teamwork, and Critical Thinking (also called Problem
Solving). Identifying specific areas for improvement is the first step.
The next step is to set achievable and relevant goals that help
you grow and improve in your area of identified need. Not only will you need to
set goals to further yourself as a professional while in school – it is also
highly likely your future employers will require you to set multiple goals each
year to demonstrate that you are acquiring new skills and contributing to the
overall strategic plan of the company.
Knowing how to set a goal that is simultaneously attainable and aspirational is
critical. If your goal is too aspirational, you might not achieve it, which is
discouraging at best and can translate to a demotion or stagnation at worst. If
your goal is too easily attainable, you won’t feel motivated, and you won’t
impress yourself or your boss. Start working on formal goal setting now so that
you will always have it as an important part of your professional tool kit.
a specific goal to work towards each semester. Your goal
should be centered on a skill you want to develop related to your career –
perhaps it is specific to a function, industry, or role you are considering for
internship or after graduation OR it could be more broadly related to building
your professional network and brand. There are many areas to explore with this
goal including networking, personal brand, technical expertise, or information
acquisition, among others.
Your goal needs to be manageable and
specific. Identify the action you will take and amount of time you will engage
in that action. The following template is a good way to make sure you are
including the key parts.
In order to ________, I will
____________ to ____________ by November 24, 2020.
In order to establish a personal
brand, I will spend 1 hour per week to complete my LinkedIn
profile to 100% by November 24, 2020.
In order to understand the type of
roles that could be a good fit for me in Marketing, I will identify 8
job listings in Handshake that seem interesting to create a list of
pros/cons for the kind of job I might like to apply for in the future by
November 24, 2020.
In order to have experiences that
enrich me and build my resume, I will find and pursue at least 2 TCU
organizations to join by November 24, 2020.