Posted By Michelle On Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 10:26 PM in Blog

I've been asked, or more accurately TOLD often, what constitutes "professionalism" in business writing, cards, websites, brochures, resumes, and the like. What I find intriguing is no one can tell me who makes these rules. Is there a governing body I can address and ask why they have created such rules? And do these rules make people happy?

What IS professionalism? Well dictionary.com states:

1.  character, spirit, methods.
2.  standing, practice, or of a professional, as distinguished from an amateur.

As I delve deeper into cultural studies and communication, I find the power struggle concerning "professionalism" more and more curious. Perhaps I will do a research project regarding this subject in the future. I have always bucked convention and recommended others do the same. Why on earth would you work so hard to fit in when you were made to stand out? (Thus the reason we don't have a pale blue or green typically corporate looking website - and why our titles include: Head Honcho, All Around Good Guy, and Everythingologist!)

To be clear, I am not recommending anyone start behaving in a way that makes others truly uncomfortable. Just do what is AUTHENTIC for you. You will attract the businesses or employers that are complimentary to you and therefore a better fit... which will result in a happier work life. There are some who think all the photos on my website should be "professionally done" (well actually most are, just not in a studio). There are some who believe I don't look "corporate" enough. Well.... they're right. The very basis of my business is authenticity. I have plenty of professional photographs. I used to be in the business of professional photography. I chose photos of me and the people who work with me that are more natural, down-to-earth, and approachable. The people who resonate with these photos will work well with us and enjoy our services. Clients know exactly what kind of people we are as our character is portrayed clearly in our natural states. There are no masks, no facades, and no PR spins.

Does this make us any less professional? Look at the accolades.... not a bit!

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