The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Professionalism in the workplace is changing a lot

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hunters-race-unsplash

KEYLA HOLMES
campus editor
keyla.holmes@my.tccd.edu

The idea of professionalism is changing. As society becomes more accommodating and accepting of every person’s individuality, the workplace has adapted as well. Building personable connections is an important part of networking, and has taken over some of the “stuffy” norms that used to be standard. 

Instead of focussing on one’s superiority when engaging with others, this new age of professionalism places friendliness and genuinity at the forefront of each interaction. Professionalism set standards that discriminated against marginalized groups of people. 

Women with curly hair may have been expected to straighten it to meet the guidelines of their work space. Women with braids have also been told that their hairstyle isn’t appropriate for work. In 2019, The CROWN Act became law to prohibit discrimination based on hairstyle and texture. 

It was a step in the right direction. Recognizing and embracing people’s differences, especially for service jobs and people focused jobs, allows employees to connect with those they’re working with more effectively. Connections drive human beings. Losing the elitism and performance like act in workplaces is beneficial for everyone involved. 

Authenticity is now a part of the conversation when discussing professionalism. Being professional shouldn’t conceal who a person is.

A standard of respect for others should be set, such as being punctual and kind. However, this standard shouldn’t shame others for simply being a different race, having a different sexual orientation, identifying as female or male, or identifying in a way that doesn’t adhere to society’s binary structure, or being dedicated to a different religion. 

The culture of shaming others in the workplace and calling it professionalism is an act Gen Z is dismantling.

Working from home became a reality for many people during Covid, playing a role in the shift of what’s considered professional. An attitude of understanding became prevalent. People were just trying to get by – attending Zoom meetings with their four year olds in the background. 

The pandemic led people to practice empathy and be more considerate of what people may be going through in their personal lives. 

Instead of continuing an elitist, “stuffy”, hustle culture in the workplace, it’s becoming more valuable to have a good work life balance. Being able to manage one’s time well, enables one to show up in a more productive way. 

With Gen Z settling in professional positions, social media is becoming a large part of the conversation. What’s appropriate to post and what isn’t is something that’s changing as well. While Gen Z posts memes and bikini photos, older generations may not find that as appropriate, even though that’s simply a part of new age culture. Being able to have fun is important as long as it’s respectful.

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