Practical Personal Professionalism - Short Course
4.3 (7 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
13 students enrolled

Practical Personal Professionalism - Short Course

The essential (but often overlooked!) key to career success that usually takes years to learn.
4.3 (7 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
13 students enrolled
Created by Richard Beal
Last updated 3/2020
Current price: $96.99 Original price: $149.99 Discount: 35% off
20 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 9 articles
  • 14 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • How to be Personally Professional
  • Students will learn how to be professional to help them find that first job or take that next career step
  • No prerequisites, but access to a printer would help

Personal Professionalism usually takes years to learn, and even then it's really only if you are a member of a traditional profession, like medicine and law.

Yet employers DEMAND that their people possess professionalism right from the very first day they start their job; and on top of that, they believe that schools, colleges and universities are responsible for teaching professionalism.

By taking this short course on Practical Personal Professionalism, you will:

  • Learn what professionalism REALLY is instead of learning a dictionary definition or Googling a list of nice things to have

  • Be able to THINK like a professional

  • SEE the world through the eyes of a professional

  • Have the answer to the question 'what would a professional do?' when you are unsure and no other guidance is available

Who this course is for:
  • Young people who have finished diplomas, degrees or apprenticeships and are ready to find that first job
  • Young people in the early stages of their careers who find that they haven't ever been taught what it is to be professional
  • People wanting to advance their career but feel that 'something' is missing
Course content
Expand all 41 lectures 02:21:54
+ Introduction - The Road to Personal Professionalism
4 lectures 08:37

Take the time to complete these exercises before you get going with the course.

Before you start...

An introduction to the course, why learn about professionalism and who should take the course. 

If you Google 'professionalism', you will typically get lots of lists of things to do and things not to do.  There are some gems there, but professionalism is a state of mind and a way of approaching work - no list can help you in every situation. 

So there has to be insight, a bit of theory and a dash of philosophy to understand what professionalism really is.

Preview 01:06

Here are three brief stories from real life that we can all relate to.  The stories start to help us understand what professionalism is and how we know it when we see it.  We will draw on the themes in this video throughout the course.

Preview 04:18

What will your transformation look like when you apply the lessons from this course?  How will you be different and how will that be of benefit to you?

Your Transformation (or, how watercolour painting changed my life!)
+ Definition - A bit of theory to get us started
2 lectures 03:06

This is a practical course but there is an important reason for starting with a bit of theory.

A Bit of Theory

This lecture takes students through a practical, working definition of personal professionalism.  Key words from the definition make up the content for the rest of the course.

A Working Definition (not from the dictionary!)
+ Your Purpose and Your Work-Role
6 lectures 28:25

In this lecture, we discuss the importance of fulfilling the actual Purpose of your Work-Role, not merely what you think it might be!

Preview 01:39

We introduce a simple two-person model that will be referred to throughout the course.  The idea is to present a model that will make it as easy as possible to present and understand the concepts that are so important to Personal Professionalism.

A Two-Person Model

Where do you find the true Purpose of your Work-Role?  Is there more than one?  Which are most important?  We discuss how to answer these vitally important questions.

Sources of Purpose

When you accept an offer of employment or enter a contract, you have agreed to DO certain things.  It might be to achieve outcomes or undertake activities by applying your skills and knowledge. 

What you've agreed to DO

When you accept an offer of employment or enter a contract, you have agreed to 'BE', as well as 'DO'.  This lecture looks at 'what' you have agreed to BE in your work-role.

What you've agreed to BE
Exercises: Purpose and Work-Role
+ Performance: Do... Your... Job...
6 lectures 15:42

We draw on a simple life event to make the point about the reality of 'doing your job' and its contribution to your Personal Professionalism.  The rest of the lectures in this Section build on that reality.

Preview 01:06

'Do' your job sounds simple enough, but if it's so simple and obvious, why do people fail to do their jobs so often?  What is missing?  Why do they not realise what it truly means to 'do' their job?


Being professional means doing YOUR job, not the one you want next or someone else's, which is tough when you are trying to progress in your career.  However, while this is true, there is also hope for how to do YOUR job yet still show that you are capable of more and better.


Your 'job' is your Work-Role.  But saying 'job' rolls of the tongue more easily!


Here is a question I am often asked, along with a way of thinking about an answer as well as what to do next!

A Common Question and a Suggested Answer
Exercise: Performance
+ Presence.
5 lectures 32:22

What is 'Presence' and what does it mean to your Personal Professionalism?

Preview 01:11
BEing your Work-Role

Demeanour, bearing, behaviour, conduct... being professional means that your interpersonal presence helps you to fulfil the purpose of your work-role.

Demeanour, Bearing, Behaviour and Conduct

People form opinions of your Personal Professionalism from your personal appearance as well as your work-space.  This might be right or wrong, good or bad - but regardless it's true, and you need to know how to deal with it.

Looking the Part is Half the Job - Uniforms and Fluffy Bunnies
Exercise: Presence
+ Standards.
5 lectures 15:13

It's true.  Despite my enthusiasm, I'm not good enough at football for people to pay to watch me.  We can take this (sad!) truth to start to understand what we mean by 'Standards' and their role in your Personal Professionalism.

Preview 00:58

What standards are important? And why are they important to our Personal Professionalism?

Standards of What?

Professionalism can range from unprofessional, to professional, to 'really professional', to 'consummately professional' and finally... not professional at all!  We should all be trying to be consummately professional, but watch out - there are pitfalls!

The Goldilocks Zone

Where do the Standards associated with your Work-Role come from?  Are they obvious or not?  What impact do societal norms and changing times have on Standards?  And what if none exist at all?

Sources of Standards
Exercise: Standards
+ Expectations.
6 lectures 24:49

People are relying on you when you are performing your Work-Role.  They need to be able to know what to expect from you, no surprises!  They need to be able to expect the expected, not the unexpected!

Preview 01:58

No one can promise something with absolute certainty; but organisations can't function if people merely wish or hope that you will do your job.  Professionalism exists between 'hope' but short of 'certainty' - it is actually a proxy for certainty so that people are confident that you will do your job and they can get on with theirs.

Between Hope and Certainty

What should people expect of you in your Work-Role?

Expectations of What? Outcomes and Activities?

Expectations are powerful!  The business mantra is to 'under promise and over deliver' but that is only a small part of the story.

Impact of Expectations

With so many people in your working life social network and all wanting to be pleased, you need to be able to identify whose expectations are most important to you and your Personal Professionalism.

Whose Expectations?
Exercise: Expectations
+ You.
4 lectures 13:08

We leave the best till last.  We talk about 'YOU'.

The word we have so far left out - YOU

Criticisms of professionalism are usually about pushing 'human-ness' out of people in the workforce.  My research shows that your Personal Professionalism is actually what you as a unique individual bring to your Work-Role and therefore how you fulfil the Purpose of your Work-Role.

Don't be a robot.

Being Personally Professional is to be the version of YOU that most helps you to do your job.  It's not about trying to be someone that you are not.  You also need to understand that because there is not 'two of you', that what you do in your personal life can affect your professional life and vice versa.  This truth means that you need to be aware of all facets of your life, how they affect each other and what you need to do about it.

Your work version of YOU

In job interviews, employers know when people are insincere and not genuine - they are aware of people cramming their CVs with noble tasks that are about helping them in their career, not for doing good.  Know your story; know why you are there being interviewed; when you are asked a question, your reply will be genuine and sincere and you will find the best place for yourself in the working world.

Know Your Story
+ You're ready. Now it's time to be Personally Professional
3 lectures 00:29
Exercise: Self Re-Assessment
Exercise: I Know I Am Being Professional When I...
Exercise: My Personal Professionalism Action Plan