What Does It Really Mean to be Professional?

We’ve spent a long time letting the word “professional” define how we show up to our work. In order to be seen as “professional,” many of us have learned to look and act a certain way, creating barriers between our work lives and our personal lives. 

This experience is something BIPOC professionals are especially familiar with, as society’s definition of professionalism has long been centered around white, Eurocentric cultural norms. Our various identities, (including race, gender, sexuality, religion, and anything else about us that doesn’t fit what we’ve always been told is professional,) often intersect with work in a way that makes us feel like we can’t be our authentic selves.

It’s time to start defining “professional” for ourselves.

Shifts in the workplace caused by the pandemic have pushed us to evaluate the way we show up to work, and allowed us to see more clearly the impossible expectation of leaving part of ourselves behind when we go to work every day.

According to LinkedIn, almost 50% of job seekers in the U.S. say they’re more likely to be their authentic self in how they show up in the workplace compared to a year ago.

In recent campaigns and publications, LinkedIn has been vocal about the need for new definitions of professionalism. Check out one of their #IAmProfessional campaign videos:

Here at Joy Society, we’re aware that despite wanting to redefine professionalism, many of us don’t know how we can move closer to the world depicted in these LinkedIn videos. 

The Joy Society community is founded on the idea that intentionally prioritizing well-being in all spheres of life allows us to experience greater happiness and fulfillment. The connections we make here, and the growth we experience all lead us to a more authentic life – in our professional and personal lives.

professional well-being
Click here if you want to know what our founder & CEO thought of the LinkedIn video above.

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