Professionalism – CompTIA A+ 220-1102 – 4.7

It’s always important to maintain professionalism in the workplace. In this video, you’ll learn about professional appearance, avoiding distractions, handling difficult situations, and maintaining confidentiality.

The dress code for someone in IT can vary greatly depending on the organization. In some organizations, it’s a very formal dress, and other organization it’s very relaxed and very casual. Normally, your attire should match whatever is normal for that environment. I worked in information technology for financial organizations where it was expected that you come to work in a coat and a tie.

I’ve worked in other organizations that were very casual where jeans and a t-shirt was perfectly normal. But for many organizations, it’s somewhere in the middle where you would have something that’s like a business casual, where you might wear slacks and a shirt with a collar. If you’re not quite sure how you should be dressing at work, you might want to take the lead from all of the management team and see how they’re dressing.

Eventually, you’ll find the right balance and you’ll fit perfectly with the overall attire of the organization. We work with people that come from many different backgrounds and have many different life experiences. And when we’re communicating with them, we need to take that background into account. You need to be aware of any cultural sensitivities, and if you’re working with someone who has a professional title you want to be sure to use the appropriate titles.

We also want to put ourselves in the position of being the teacher. We’re not there to create conflict or pass judgment. We’re instead there to solve problems. And as that teacher, you should be sure to avoid any type of judgment or insults. Your goal should not only be to solve this problem, but to make the end user smarter about this issue so that they can also assist you when the next problem comes along.

And although it’s important to feel good about the things you know, it’s also important to keep in mind that eventually you’re going to make some pretty big mistakes. So having this professional relationship with others can help you a great deal when you need their help. When you’re working on a problem for someone, they should be your biggest priority. You shouldn’t be texting other people, taking phone calls, or any other type of interruption to your normal workday.

If there are some unavoidable delays or distractions, you should apologize for those and let them know that you’re doing everything you can to solve their problem. I always preferred having a conversation when these types of problems occurred. Sometimes the conversation would be about the problem we were trying to solve. But often the conversation would be about other things that person enjoyed doing in their life.

If these are conversations you often have in person, I found that having a candy bowl on my desk can bring people into the room, have them sit down in a chair, and start a conversation. If you’re on the phone, it can be very easy to have distractions on both sides of the line. So you should make sure that your background noises are kept to a minimum, and if at all possible, you should always avoid using a speakerphone.

When there is a significant technical problem causing an issue for someone, it can be a very stressful situation. What you don’t want to do is contribute to the overall stress, and if possible, you want to find some way to minimize the amount of stress. We can minimize this stress by avoiding any type of conflict or argument about the issue, and instead have a conversation about how to resolve the problem.

You want to be sure that you’re not dismissive of somebody’s issue and you certainly don’t want to contradict the information that they’re telling you. So you might want to listen to what somebody is telling you about a particular issue, and then ask follow up questions to get more details about the issue. And if this problem is one that takes a number of days or weeks to resolve, you may constantly want to check in with the latest status of where we are with solving the issue.

Even if there’s nothing new to report, you could tell someone that you’re still checking into it, you’re monitoring the situation, and you’ll make sure to update them next week with the latest information. And as a general rule, especially in a professional environment, you should never take these problems to social media. Everything that happens at work should stay at work, and if you’d like to use social media you can use it for your personal life.

As IT professionals, we tend to have access to a great deal of sensitive data. This might be information stored in a database that we maintain or maybe information that’s printed on the network printer. As an IT professional, you have a responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of all of this data. Even though this data may be at your fingertips, all of it should remain private and you should not be sharing this information with others.

Ultimately, we should treat people in the way that we would want to be treated, and we would want them to treat our data the same way we would want our data to be treated.