Professionalism: It's Not Just The Designation
By Brian W. Pascal, RPR, CMP, RPT
Never has it been more important
to acquire and
maintain professional credentials
for employers. The pool of
job applicants grows every year, and
the ability to set yourself apart from
the hundreds applying for the same
job becomes a survival tactic. Make
no mistake, academic
diplomas and skill
credentials set you
apart from other
job seekers and
from the current
crop of co-workers.
And belonging to
a strong and active professional association
brings even further proof that
you're serious about your work life
and that you're not just marking time.
Brian W. Pascal
Some may argue that the value of
credentials to employers, that of continuous
learning and belonging to a
professional association, is questionable.
They say these credentials and
activities are "nice" but aren't required
for a vast majority of the jobs
out there. Well, individuals do not
become professionals because of some
sudden leap that they want to make
into the stratosphere. Individuals
become professionals because of their
lifetime dedication and commitment
to higher standards, ideals, honorable
values, and continuous self-improvement.
This is what sets them apart
and this is what will be noticed and
valued by employers.
Professionals perform what are
often ordinary jobs in extraordinary
ways. Professionals add a little extra
to everything they do and they put a
little extra into every move they make.
The greatest benefit of being a professional
is the satisfaction and pride
that you will enjoy from doing your
work to the best of your ability through
your education and training. Then
you will know that your work is, in
fact, professional. When you do your
work professionally, people take notice.
The Institute of Professional
Management recognized the need of
practitioners involved in Recruitment,
Assessment, Management and Training
for a professional framework within
which to carry out their roles. As an
educational body certified by and
registered with Human Resources
Development Canada, IPM provided
the content, structure, accreditation
and designations required to to establish
this framework. But do these designations,
or any other designations
for that matter, really confer "professional"
status upon the individual?
Can you only be a "professional"
if you've taken a four year degree in
something? If that's the case, then
how come we're constantly reading
about the "unprofessional" conduct
of Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants
and other well-established professions?
It is obvious that the curriculum or
the length of time required for study
is not at issue here.
If you are a professional, you are
self-directed. You will reap only in
proportion to what you plant. You
will receive from your job only in
proportion to what you contribute.
Having said this, I am happy to
report that not one of our members
have been on the front page of any
newspaper for unprofessional conduct.
More realistically, we have never
received a complaint from any employer
about the conduct of our members.
It has been 20 years since we
put together the first association and
we've certified thousands of individuals
in three professional associations
(soon to be four) since. This is unique.
This means that employers are
either totally petrified of our members
or they simply enjoy working with
them and value their knowledge and
their approach to work. Surely, it's
the latter and I'm proud to be involved
with all of you.
This is our first formal Members
Quarterly report. We recognize the
effort you made to learn and to participate
in our professional associations
and we also recognize the need
to do our part and promote your
professionalism and offset any isolation
felt by any of our members. I'm
sure you'll want to contribute by letting
us know what you want to see in
this report and we'll make it happen
quickly and without fuss. This is your
Thank you again for your support
and dedication to your respective
associations. It makes the entire
Brian W. Pascal, RPR, CMP, RPT, is
President and CEO of the Institute of
Professional Management located in
Ottawa, Ontario and can be reached at
(613) 721-5957 or email@example.com