Being Professional

I often write about data professionals, meaning those people who work with data and are paid to do so. Certainly some of you might be amateurs, doing data work as a hobby, but most of the people that visit SQLServerCentral work with data as a part of their career.

The second part of that title is the “professional” part. What does it mean to be a professional? I saw some thoughts from Randolph West recently that caught my eye. He talks about treating others as you’d like to be treated, which is a good place to start for most of us.

However, there are other considerations for being a professional in Internet age. Randolph covers a few, in terms of respecting others’ form of address, their time, and their own struggles. The world of work has blurred with personal time, especially when most of us are not in the same physical location, and our “environment” might include people that don’t actually work for the same organization.

I’ll add a couple more items here that I think are important to being a professional these days. While we do understand that children, pets, and more might interrupt meetings, understand that security and privacy for our organization (and its data) is important. Lock your machines, watch what you share out loud, and caution your “co-workers” against sharing things that might be secure or sensitive.

In line with that, be aware that you might accidentally share something from your personal life on a video call. While you don’t need to wear a suit and tie, you might ensure that you are not wearing something inappropriate. Certainly there is a running joke that people at home might not wear pants. Whether you do or not, be aware that standing up without pants wouldn’t be very respectful. It might also be career limiting.

As we continue to move forward in work and life, with the challenges of both always and never being at work, for some or all of us, be professional to each other likely means being respectful, understanding, appreciative, and sensitive to others.

It’s not my world; it’s not your world. It’s our world.

Steve Jones

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