Becoming a professional isn’t easy, but it paves the road for what ever success you want to have in many fields. Being professional doesn’t mean boring or serious, it just means that you get things done. Actually after thinking about it, I think what sets a very clear threshold between hard working people to determine if they’re professionals is that
Amateurs work, Professionals make it work.
Writing this I mean people who work incredibly hard, both amateurs and professionals and it’s only a part of the distinction, but it’s something I’ve recognized comparing my home country and where I live or different people I’ve worked with.
Just getting things done and out there in a working, sometimes less than ideal, state is worth much more than trying to find the silver bullet that solves everything before even starting.
Do you know examples or stories of people around you who had different approaches and one of them showed to be far more pragmatic than the other? I’d love to hear them as tweets, blog posts or comments!
Popping Bottle Caps
The mindset of a professional keeps the other side, the customer or end-user in mind. If you are to hung up in your ways or what would be the cleanest way to do something, you’ll slow yourself and your surroundings down like some sort of limbo-esque bureaucracy. Think of it as your friend asking for a beer and it doesn’t have a twist cap. Do you run to your kitchen and find the correct tool or do you just use any hard object around to pop the bottle cap off?
Being a professional mostly means training, preparation, experience and improvisation, applying all of the previous mentioned in a different context or situation.
This is one of the reasons why developers pick up new languages or have personal projects, they want to know new ways and easily traverse between different environments, because they quickly spot the similarities and differences.
I’m currently in a very fortunate position, running my own company, where I can be very result focused and working as a teacher where also the process is very important. That’s why I can mix my everyday life with a little bit of both and it’s quite nice. In both worlds I can be a professional, have hard and soft skills.
Since my work place is awesome I don’t hear a lot of: “But this is the way we do things” or “Well, but this is what we have.” There’s a deal of liberty and flexibility around how we accomplish certain things and also the diversity of my co-workers and me adds a lot to the quality of the place in my eyes.
Why so Serious?
Being professional doesn’t mean you never joke, actually I think being professional inherits making other people feel okay and comfortable.
One of my many role models is Chase Jarvis, who I consider to be a very professional player in the media production world, but when you see him part of a project like the colour powder project he did as a commercial or the cheap camera challenge or even when he loses a drone with a camera into the sea, he’s cheerful, polite and positive. He has the energy to stay positive and forthcoming in these situations and is like-able.