Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Being Professional

Members and readers of this forum are mostly in the northern hemisphere. (We haven't broken much into the southern half of the world.) But it has become surprisingly global. 

The messages seem to resonate with anyone in a rural area that can read English and has dreams of self-employment. We share common concerns. 

One commonality is the difficulty of maintaining professionalism. In the country, the temptation is far greater to wear sweat pants and a baseball cap while working. 

Don't do it.

We are always one step away from slob-hood. Sweat pants and baseball caps might be okay, but be fastidious on symbolic things that separate you and make you feel professional. Keep your work area clean and organized. Change out of pajamas. Occasionally act like you are meeting with investment bankers. 

Dressing up and cleaning your desk is only a tiny part of professionalism, but it is highly symbolic. 

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