Professionalism is the first trait or quality to have at work, whether you are working in a small company with only three people, or if you are working in a much bigger company with intellectual people, professionalism shouldn’t be a choice but a must. Professionalism determines your personal growth as an employee or employer, and also gets you chances to elevate in your career. Assia Uwamahoro, a content writer, says that being professional comes with a lot of advantages. “When you are professional in what you do, you give off a first good impression wherever you are and to whoever you meet, you maintain a long-lasting reputation in your organisation which presents to you a lot of opportunities, no one hates a professional person or even disrespect them, they feel the need to respect them for being so and the need to trust them a lot,” she says. Uwamahoro stresses that being professional can outdo a lot of other traits you have because the first thing your boss or employees values is professionalism. “Yes you can be very intelligent and skilled but if you are not professional in what you do, always speaking inappropriately to your employees or colleagues, or even being rude to people in the office, no one will ever acknowledge all those other traits and they will not take you seriously,” she says. According to Braise Tumuhorane, a Public Relations Officer, professionalism starts with your appearance and then goes by how you take yourself. “Your dress code says a lot about you, how a person sees you for the first time is how they will see you for the whole year, so if you are going to work in a new place pay attention to your dress code, dress in a manner that goes with the place you are going to work in, if it is a formal place wear formal, and if it is an artistic place, wear artistically, don’t ever mix the two,” she says. Tumuhorane continues that after making your outfit match the place you work in, then you can move on to how you behave yourself, the way you talk, respond to people, listen to people, and address people determines your professionalism. Blaise Tumukunde, a sales manager, says that professionalism is also determined by how you respect your job. “Respecting your job means, valuing it, or knowing what is appropriate and not appropriate when at work, for example, some people tend to mix their personal issues with work, if you broke up with your girlfriend and bring the issues at work you risk to work poorly, get mixed emotions and act inappropriately, you may start insulting others or even not perform all duties because you are thinking about those issues, the best thing is to ask for leave or a day off if you feel that you are not ready to go to work with those issues,” he says. “Or alert your boss that you need a few days off and tell him or her your issues, they will respect that because you also respected your job, and they will mark that as being professional,” he adds. Tumukunde, shares a few ways a person can maintain professionalism at work: Stay loyal and faithful: Telling lies all the time can’t take you anywhere, always try to be honest in what you do, when asking for leave or even when you are late, everyone will trust you for always being honest. Be on time always: There is nothing good in always being late, a person that is always late is seen as unprofessional and not serious, so try your best to always be on time wherever you are going. Always control your reactions: You might have disagreements with your colleagues from time to time, but being able to control your anger and not lash out at them is very important. Deliver your tasks on time: When you deliver your tasks and assignments on time your boss takes you as a credible person and serious person.