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I attended a lecture recently where the speaker consistently repeated the title phrase. The intent was to focus a group of college juniors and seniors on being a professional while in their college environment. During the lecture the speaker compared to attendees. One person wore a three-piece suit and the other a hooded sweatshirt with baggy jeans. His question was simple, who do you think is here to learn? and if this were a job, who do you think is here to work?
Overwhelming the audience selected the college student in a three-piece suit. The speaker’s logic is that most of the senior level courses, like the professional environment, is evaluated on a subjective basis. We are being graded not only on content, but the perception of ourselves. When we are giving a presentation to our superiors is the same subjective evaluation. Their belief in the message goes beyond the words in our presentation. Since image is everything, we can not expect bypass mediocrity without having a consistent and constant professional image.
The last piece of the lecture related to our character, our integrity and our performance. These are very individualized but have the power to influence people’s future decisions of us. When people work with us, what do they expect? Are we dependable, can people rely on us? When we say we are going to do something what is the outcome of that something? The important note is we must become known for doing what we said we would do. Regardless of the obstacle, setback or unexpected change, we must become known for keeping our word. This resiliency is the cornerstone to our substance, score and reputation… all of which can not be bought.