“We know you are a professional and would love to have you with us.”
Hearing those words meant a lot. More than any other compliment, it really hits home when someone acknowledges this about me. By definition, being a professional is:
characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
(a): participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs (a professional golfer) (b): having a particular profession as a permanent career (a professional soldier) (c): engaged in by persons receiving financial return (professional football player)
following a line of conduct as though it were a profession (Merriam-Webster, 2017)
As fitness coaches, many of us have the technical standard down pretty well. As soon as we are finished reading about a new program or exercise, we are in the gym testing it out. Most of us carry certs, first aid skills, and have some formal post-secondary education. I’m not too worried about the technical.
What sets us apart (or should set us apart) from the amateur fitness enthusiast is the ethical standards, and the display of courteous, conscientious, and businesslike manner we conduct ourselves in the workplace.
Being considered a professional can carry you during times of controversy. The best words one can hear when falsely accused of something is “We didn’t think you would do such a thing because you’re such a professional.”
Character strengths are the backbone of all professionals. Honesty, integrity, courage, grit, perspective, these are some that I value the most. (For more on character strengths visit http://www.viacharacter.org/www/Character-Strengths). Knowing which ones you have and which ones you need to improve on is at the core of professional development.
I am always improving. I am always looking for development opportunities.
I am a professional in all that I engage in.