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The Professional Versus The Hack

Television and radio host Adam Carolla is also a gifted carpenter. I once heard him comment that he could always tell when an amateur did a carpentry project because they skip steps a professional would complete.

There seems to be a general decline of professionalism in the world today. To clarify, my definition of professional is not merely someone who is paid to do a job or task. Too many hacks are paid to do jobs… poorly. And, that has soiled the term, professional.

The mark of a professional is in how the job is done.

A professional doesn’t skip steps to make the job easier, because performing all of the proper steps to complete a job is the job.

A professional uses the best tools, including the most important tools: training and experience. When there is an inevitable issue with one of the steps, the professional simply moves to plan “B.” The professional is prepared to execute plan B before plan “A” even begins. When you hire a professional, you are paying for plan B.

A professional is respectful of your time. If the professional is late for an appointment an apology and explanation will be forthcoming.

A professional is courteous and polite (but not necessarily friendly). The professional’s intention is to get to the point of the matter quickly without sounding curt or offensive. This is because the professional is respectful of your time and money.

A professional provides options and recommendations, but never excuses.

A professional operates quickly and efficiently because completing the job as quickly and efficiently as possible is part of the job.

A professional dresses appropriately for the job. This is a sign of self-respect, respect for others and respect for the work itself.

A professional shows up ready to work and leaves when the job is done.

Our immediate gratification and shrinking attention span culture is producing a workforce full of hacks. And, that bodes well for true professionals.

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