How to be More Professional in Any Job

This is a photo of me in a Heidi Klum Esmara Blue Jacket, and black jeans in New York City.

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How to be More Professional in Any Job

November 19, 2017

Listen More, Lead Better

While I know I have not been in the "corporate" world for too long, I have picked up a lot that has definitely worked for me. I thought I would share some of this advice with you. While this post may be better timed in January, I wanted to share this advice sooner than later so if you don't get that raise, you have a better understanding of why that is. I'm also a big believer of trying to change your attitude as soon as you can, and being aware of various things will make you respond better sooner than later.


1. Answer emails.

One of the ways to get a bad reputation in any industry and piss a whole lot of people off, is to never respond to emails. Some people think reading an email is okay because it’s meant for their information, but that is backwards thinking. You can’t build a relationship with anyone if you don’t respond to emails, and every job requires relationships. You will see the same person often, so it’s best to respond to the email, and just do your due diligence. Nothing makes me want to throw my laptop out the window when someone blatantly ignores my emails and I’ve asked several questions. At least respond saying NO. It’s unacceptable to ignore emails. The only time I think it’s okay to ignore an email is if it’s inexcusably rude OR spam. All of those who have emailed me asking to pay $10 for an Instagram post will never get a response from me. Offering $10 is worse than offering nothing at all and saying you have no budget and would like to gift the product…but that’s a topic for another day.


2. Read your emails.

Along the same point, READ YOUR EMAIL. I just exchanged about 5 emails back and forth with a brand, which could have been only twice back and forth. However, she was not reading the email in full and did not click the link I provided in the email. The link was highlighted and bold, so not sure how to call more attention to it. Don’t be an idiot. Read the email in full - I didn’t write it for my health. That’s for damn sure.

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3. Think smart.

Often times people ask really stupid questions. I’m not going to tell you the age old sentence “there are no such things as stupid questions” is accurate, but to be honest, some questions are dumb as shit. If you’re asking something rhetorical, stop wasting your boss’s and your own time. If you can’t make simple decisions on your own, that will be clear to your boss and it’ll be the biggest reason you don’t get the raise you were hoping for. At any job, it is your responsibility to work smart and find ways to be more efficient and effective in your role. The more you do this, the more impressed your boss will be.

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This is a full body shot of me standing in the middle of a city in New York City.

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4. Make friends.

While I know some people like to separate work from personal life, I find it doesn’t benefit you in the end. First of all, you’re spending 8 hours a day (at least) in one place. 40 hours a week. 160 hours a month. That’s a lot of time to not have someone to joke with and chat with openly about your role. I have built a reliable, INCREDIBLE friendship circle at my corporate job and it makes work go from “this is a job I love” to “this is the only job I ever want to have” because we take walks, get coffee, vent and just have a good time. No task is that bad when you have to do it alongside your friends. It really makes a big difference, and to be honest (I hope they’re not reading this) they’re all going to be my bridesmaids because they are my best friends.


5. Pay attention.

When you’re in meetings and in group settings, pay attention. There could be obvious things happening or signals being sent your way, that you may not pick up on if you’re not paying attention. I get some of my best information about things coming up with the company, and what’s new when I pay attention in meetings. Especially when the directors talk out loud to one another. You can find some pretty juicy stuff sooner than anyone else, so make sure to pay attention.

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I didn't know how much I liked blue things, until I met this jacket. I am obsessing over all the blue things for the holidays. These booties were so cute and simple, but I am loving the bootie trend. Shopbop always knows the best trends when it comes to workwear, no matter how formal or informal your office is. While I am rocking a Louis Vuitton bag here, I am absolutely loving all the styles Rebecca Minkoff is coming out with recently. She has some of the cutest bags and accessories.

The most reliable luxury bag of all? The Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis of course!

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6. Be kind to colleagues.

Even if they’re annoying. This is one I still struggle with, because I get so annoyed and I just want to spend my time at work in the most efficient manner. Dealing with idiotic questions and unnecessary information is not my ideal way of spending any time in my day, but it’s so important to deal with those instances eloquently and then strategically figure out to cut them. You can’t be everyone’s best friend. Otherwise you get no work done. I want to smack a few people at work, but I’d rather not have a lawsuit thrown on me so early in my life so instead I just shut them off in my head.

7. Listen.

And I mean really listen. When your team and those around you are having problems, they are likely too afraid to tell you directly. You have to be able to listen to disparities to see what it is they may need or that they need help at all. When people speak, you have to be observant and understand the situation beyond the words you're hearing. When you have a team, you need to take someone's behavior into account as well as their emotion. To some degree, I feel that a psych degree really helped me with this because I can better assess people and their needs.

8. Speak and write intelligently.

Sending an all email using the wrong “there” is not only going to make you look like you failed English class, but it will annoy those of us who are OCD about spelling. There’s more of us than you think 😉

9. Dress the part.

I don’t care how casual your office is. Trust me, NOBODY wants to see you in your PJs. Your pajamas are for your house, NOT for public places. Have the decency to put on some clothes. If you're looking to be in a different role, you need to dress the part. When you look the part, it's easier to visualize yourself in the role. Which also means it's easier for your boss to visualize you in the role too.

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This is a close up of me rocking the blue Esmara by Heidi Klum jacket in NYC.

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What other tips do you have for being more professional at work?

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