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What it Means to Be a Professional and Why it Matters Now


With everything going on right now, I’ve been thinking a lot about being a professional. 

Most specifically, the shift in the way a lot of people work and communicate outside of what they’ve done in the past. A shift into using technology more than they may have in the past. A shift in the way they now have to show up each day.

The world isn’t going to simply stop because of this pandemic. Companies need to change, adapt, and keep moving forward. People need to do the same.

Stop worrying about what could happen and start focusing on what you can do right now. Today. Within the current constraints we have. 

Constraints can be a beautiful thing. The book A Beautiful Constraint by Adam Morgan and Mark Barden may be more applicable at this very moment than at any other time. 

A Beautiful Constraint by Adam Morgan and Mark Barden

Constraints foster creativity. Constraints encourage change. Constraints can force us to be more efficient. 

Constraints can also cause people to give up. Constraints can cause people to pull back and save their energy for another day.

Right now we don’t know when “another day” is going to come. 

We may not feel like learning how to work a new communication technology. We may not feel like getting out of bed or getting an early start to the day. 

We may think that we can put things off until tomorrow. 

That’s short-sighted. 

Right now we all need to be professionals. We need to push through the resistance and the distractions. Push through the malaise we may feel. We need to show up- every day. Do our work even when we don’t feel like it. 

We need to realize that this all will pass. 

When we look back on how we used our time, will we feel good about how we weathered the storm and came out stronger, smarter, with more empathy and knowledge?

Or will you feel like you wasted time, fell behind, and did nothing to become better than you were a week ago, a month ago or at this time last year?

If what it means to be professional is to continue pushing through the hard times, continuing to show up and do the work, to overcome the initial obstacles of a new work and communication environment, to focus on what’s right in front of us, not what happened yesterday or what may happen in a month, then we *all* need to be professionals.  

Show up in some way today. Small ways count. Be a professional.