Are You Professional?

I would like to ask those who are reading this article to ask themselves a question: “Am I professional?” Now, before you shout out your answer, take a moment to think what it means to be professional. According to Daniel Webster the answer is, “Yes, I am,” because we all perform our occupation as a means of livelihood. But my question does not mean the literal definition of the word; I meant the connotation of the word.

Being professional means possessing professionalism. Now, is your answer still, “Yes, I am?” Do you convey high character, spirit, or methods of a professional? Do you settle for the minimum standards or do you continuously strive to raise the standards by which your craft is measured? Do you take pride in your work and follow written procedures? How about your appearance? When confronted with a challenge at work do you solve it with the knowledge that we are responsible and accountable for our actions? Do you convey the image of professionalism to the public and to your fellow employees?

Are you practicing professionalism in everything you do? If the answer is, “Yes, I do,” then you create a professional atmosphere. A professional atmosphere attracts people of higher caliber. In this type of atmosphere the answer to my question would indeed be, “Yes, I am!”

The point of this article is to reawaken the reason why we chose our current craft as a means of a profession. The men and women who came before us in our respective craft forged the foundation for how we are perceived. The responsibility of continuing this professionalism in our craft lies with all of us, myself included — I will lead by example because doing so is how we promote professional standards. By having professional standards we provide the men and women who follow in our footsteps a code of ethics and this, in turn, raises the level of respect of how our craft is perceived.

What do you think?

Kenneth MacTiernan is an A&P, director for AMTSociety, chairman for AMTSociety Scholarship Awards, and chairman for AMTSociety Maintenance Skills Competition. He can be reached at