“Professionalism”- 31 March 2015.

As I received a good response to my last piece I feel encouraged to write more on this. Many people have their own definitions which are not clearly articulated in their minds. Let’s take a few more instances of what a good professional could mean. The primary aspect is the attitude towards work. If you enjoy your work the attitude is already positively inclined. A person who loves his own work would generally have a high degree of self respect and a great value for the work that he does. The opposite is true for someone who dislikes his work. He would drag himself to work, be generally late in going to work, be a grumbler of sorts, absenteeism would be high, would discourage other good workers to let go of their positivism, and spread discontent in the organisation. Phew! What a waste of time and energy and soul. Such people are wasted souls and too many like these are floating around in work places. The general ratio of good and bad workers, some say, is 20 to 80! This means that 20 percent people sincerely enjoy their work and 80 percent are just drags! This is perhaps the scene not only in India but all over the globe.

Such people like to complain about almost any and every thing. They might complain about their colleagues that they don’t allow them to work otherwise things would be different. They would also complain about the work environment and find as many faults as they can count and even invent some if they could not find any! They could quarrel with their tools and keep blaming them for not working well. Blaming and complaining is the norm rather than the exception and hence becomes an excuse for under performance or no performance. Another aspect of this syndrome is comparing yourself and your company with the one next door. And of course we all know that we believe that ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’. We also know from experience that this is a myth and an illusion.

I remember a young student who studied in a very ordinary engineering college but always spoke of it not exactly with pride but with positive happiness. I love my college whatever it is because it has accepted me and given me the opportunity to study and get a degree which will make my life. Agreed that it is not the best college and does not have the best teachers but they are good enough for me. And it is my problem if I am here and not anywhere else! What an amazing insight and wisdom at such a young age and what a fantastic attitude. I never forgot that young man and his outlook to life. We had a long chat actually as he elaborated his views on life further. He said something extremely interesting- if I criticise my own college what will my friends and others think of me he said. By criticising my alma mater I only disrespect myself as others will ask me as to why I am studying here then if it is so terrible! So I tell them it is a jolly good college and of course I am happy to be part of it!

How many aged and matured persons in terms of age I mean would have such wisdom. What we hear is in fact just the opposite- loads of abuse and anger against the organisation and loads of frustration leading to low performance. It is all in the mind you know. Dr. A.P.J. Kalam former President of India and the respected missile man of India narrated the gruelling conditions and the disadvantageous circumstances under which the team of scientists worked day and night to complete deadlines. There were not many monetary incentives too except for their commitments in their heart and the dream of putting India on the world map! And how they slogged to make it happen! If they had complained they would certainly not have achieved what they did for the country.

Such a thing can be done only with love in your heart for the type of work that you have chosen to do as your life goal and secondly the sacrifice that you are willing to make for the sake of that larger goal that you have in mind. It means valuing yourself, valuing the organisation that you have chosen to work in and making the best use of all the resources available.


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