When answering a call, a hurried "Hi!"
or a gruff "WHAT?" is not professional. Amiel
recommends that you say your name and title after picking
up that receiver. When phoning someone else, don't just
launch into whatever's on your mind, disregarding anything
you may have interrupted. Amiel recommends, "If
you call someone, ask 'Is this a good time?' Show respect
for the other person and their schedule."
Another part of being professional is being able to handle constructive criticism, says Bedford. Reacting to criticism of your work by breaking down or getting angry will not impress your co-workers or boss. If you can take that information and use it to improve yourself and your work, you'll have proven yourself competent and mature.
Warfield says just following these guidelines won't take you far on the job. There still needs to be hard work and good ideas behind your shiny professional image. She explains, "If you own these things, you'll own your career and where you are going. I don't believe in just putting together a glitzy package. Walk the talk."
So, remember, the packaging does count -- when it matches your award-winning substance. Make your presentation as attractive as your ideas, and you can guarantee yourself a spot on the fast track.