The Many Sides of ‘Professional’

I often hear over and over again "I'm not a professional" when it comes to their careers.  Usually it's in the form of "I can't do that, I'm not a professional" when I hear it, and usually from a person forgetting that all professionals have to start somewhere.

I also hear people talk about being professional.  It's usually how one acts professional, or dresses professional.  Reams of books are written on how to repress your urges, dress like everyone else, and thus somehow "be professional."

I see "professional" everywhere.  So what is all this "professional" about?

I think when it comes to "professional" people are often talking about different things.

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Geeks, Fans, Otaku, Nerds, and More: Don’t Be The False You

So you're looking at yourself from a professional point of view.  You're a raging fangirl, a complete geek, a classic rock snob, what have you – and you don't want to show it.  After all you worry about how you'll come off at work, on the job, to clients, etc.

Chances are, it's backfiring.

The more you choke off who you really are, what you like, what you do – even if it seems ridiculous – the less you're going to act like yourself.  Since you'll be busy being something you're not, you're going to screw it up anyway.

Your clients, co-workers, employer, etc. are going to notice this and notice something is wrong.

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