Professionalism....Perhaps this the first word that freshers learn the moment they enter the corporate world. This is true especially in the case of engineers and managament folks. In course of time the word is hackneyed so much , that the very meaning of it is forgotten. Is professionalism all aboout smart dressing or Bond like charisma? Or is it like the good old chivalry of an Victorian gentlemen( and ladies too)?
Or is it something more deeper and concerns the true one self. For one thing I have learnt after joining the corporate world is that a pucca professional is just a cloak to cover our inner self. To rise up to the occasion we all act as professional in the corporate world. You may act like a professional , being polite, versatile and virtuous and so on. But in the inner self there is the jealous , mean and self centered soul, to which we are always vulnerable.
The question arises on what exactly are the do's and don't of professionalism. Have we not utilised office resources for private use? Unnecessary stationery requisitions , travel expenses exaggerations, holiday excuses, setting convenient targets, partying at company's cost or in worst case dirting the common toilet after use? (even in top notch companies I find this sordid state) These may appear trivial but the question that needs to be answered is that whether or not these acts constitute professionalism?
But of course there are other higher vices that are currently not condoned under the blanket of professionalism, like siphoning of funds, misdemeanour with women( and vice versa too)nowadays), constant vituperation and last of all inefficiency. The issue of work harassment is also hogging the limelight recently. The increasingly balanced gender participation(read as women joining) in office environment ,taking place in most of the companies in urban India, is the cause of this uproar. So its high time the issues of gender interactions are visited in the context of office environment. Currently locker rooms jokes, A-stuff SMS and 'voyeurism'*( looking at an wrong angle) is considered a taboo. Maybe in the future these stuff may pass in the list of trivialities permitted under the professionalism.
So being in the corporate world for more than a three months I realise that being a true professional is indeed a chimerical wish list. (in other words it like striving towards Carnot's efficiency in mechanical engineer's parlance) I have entered the professional world with all hopes of being a true professional. But I can sense that it takes a lot more than mere resolution to live up to it. I know not, what kind of a professional I would metamorphose into, but I always remember this chimerical professional.
* This is every man's nightmare..staring at the wrong places and getting caught in the process. Its often not the manifestation of bad character , rather it is the testosterone that is the real culprit. Remember there is an alter ego in all of us.......