Career

10 Ways To Look Way More Professional Than You Actually Are At Work

Have you ever felt as though your level of professionalism has been questioned? Do you feel like an actual child in a sea of grownups in the workplace? Are you looking for a quick path to professionalism with minimal effort?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, just know you’re not alone. Follow these 10 super easy and completely foolproof* steps, and in a matter of days your co-workers will go from thinking you’re human garbage to assuming you’re a true Sheryl Sandberg. These are definitely all things to give you that professional dynamism (see #3).

*Results may vary

#1 Wear glasses

If you’re not a glasses wearer, count yourself lucky. But don’t let that stop you from reaping the benefits owning a pair of those suckers can offer.

Walking into the office with a set of specs on will leave your colleagues asking, “Whoa, who’s that sexy professor that just walked in? They’re looking really right.”

You can also use glasses tactically. Whip them out and put them on during a meeting to let your boss know that you’re really paying attention. 

#2 Carry a briefcase

Don’t you dare for a second try and tell me you don’t think people who carry briefcases aren’t high key better than all of us, because they just are – deal with it. What secrets lie within? Spare cuff links? Tie pins? Diamonds and jewels? The key to success?

Honestly, who knows? But we say if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Even if you’re feeling under the weather, your hair is a mess or the shirt you’re wearing was technically branded as pyjamas, nobody will notice so long as you’re sporting a classy briefcase.

#3 Schedule a lot of fake meetings

If you aren’t constantly in meetings, are you really that important? But what if you don’t get asked along to too many meetings? Just make them up, baby!

Make sure you book a room so it looks legit, and chuck some headphones in your laptop, listen to some sweet tunes and pretend you’re on an important Skype call.

Take this time to call your mum. You should really call her more often.

#4 Make loud business calls

The key to professionalism is not giving a shit about those around you and making obnoxiously loud business calls while pacing back and forth around the office.

Will others despise you for it? Probably. But oh boy you look important, and importance equals professionalism.

#5 Speak business jargon

You know someone is a true professional when they use words that while you’re not quite sure what they mean, sound bloody important. Take some of this terminology and work it into your everyday vocab.

Instead of asking your boss if they’d like to grab lunch, try to reach out or ping them to ask if they have the bandwidth to synergise with you for a game-changing dining venture. They will be wowed.

#6 Keep a large stock of stationery

In 2018, owning stationery means one of three things: you’re a primary school teacher, you’re a uni student who’s lying to themselves or you’re a very important and professional businessperson.

Duck down to Officeworks or Big W and buy some of those fancy pens. The kind you have to buy individually and have lavish tips – you know the ones. Now chuck one of those babies in your top pocket for safe measure.

#7 Always keep LinkedIn open in a separate tab

If you get people passing by your workstation, be prepared. We recommend keeping your LinkedIn home page open in a separate tab at all times.

That way when people are approaching you can quickly switch and begin perusing through your professional network to get up to speed on the 411, what everyone’s been up to, or any hot industry gossip.

#8 Invest in a Bluetooth headpiece

Take a trip back to the mid ’00s and get yourself a Bluetooth headpiece. They’re almost certainly available on eBay.

If you’re so busy that you don’t even have enough time to take your phone out of your pocket, people are going to be floored by how important you are.

Like we said, importance equals professionalism.

#9 Give unnecessary presentations

If you can gather a crowd and get them to pay attention to you for at least a few minutes, you’ve pretty much cemented your status as a professional.

Call some meetings or deliver some presentations to your colleagues. It doesn’t really matter what the meeting is about, so long as you use some of that sweet business terminology. Conference room, five minutes.

#10 Become besties with the CEO

The truest professionals ride together, die together so start becoming chummy with the boss and even tag along to business lunches.

Even if you weren’t technically invited, check their calendar, book a table next to theirs at the same restaurant, play it off as a big coincidence and guilt them into letting you join them. Foolproof.

Exuding professionalism is pretty much the only way of getting your colleagues and boss to respect you. So you better get cracking on this list.

(Lead Image: Step Brothers) 


Bradley is a writer from regional NSW and he didn’t come here to make friends, he came to win. He tweets infrequently to his 43 followers @bradjohnston_.