Professionalism—Putting Others First

Ouch! It hurts to get stepped on as a colleague scrambles up the corporate ladder. Like it or not, it happens to all of us somewhere along our career journey. When it does, a plan of approach will go much further than a plan for retaliation. So push that bitterness aside, swallow your pride and pay heed to the maternal advice, “You should always put others before yourself.”

Yet when it comes to work, putting others first doesn’t necessarily fly in every circumstance. For example, you probably wouldn’t suggest another candidate as the better choice in a job interview, nor shy away from a promotion because it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else. Still, there’s a healthy balance between power player and pushover. It’s called professionalism.

Being a professional means earning recognition and promotions for achievements and success, but includes acknowledging others for their contributions and personal wins. When you “play” well with others you’re creating a team of ambassadors who will support you in your professional growth, offer needed insight and expertise and provide kinship during times of trial. Yes, you also need to be a professional ambassador, too. Look for ways in which you can collaborate and mentor colleagues and develop solid working relationships that command mutual respect. Then when you’re up for a promotion, odds are you’ll be rewarded in kind for being a go-getter as well as a team player.

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