Acting Professional

So you want to be a professional. You know how to dress for the job. You have a great resume, interviewed well, and now you have a position in the field you want. There is more to being professional than dressing the part, though that is important. You also need to act the part.

So how does one do that? To begin with, be punctual. Arrive on time for work if not early. Arrive to meetings and other activities on time or early. In both cases be prepared. Turn in assignments on time. If something comes up, let your boss know. They want to be kept informed.

Always be polite and civil no matter how others treat you. Every student at Provo College is going to be dealing with customers of one sort or another. At some point you will be dealing with someone who is upset for one reason or another. This does not give you the right to become upset in return. This does not give you the right to give that customer less than your very best behavior. Aside from this, if you remain calm and offer logical solutions to what their problem is this usually helps the customer calm down as well. In a medical situation, empathizing with the patient is critical but you still need to remain calm with them. Your coworkers also deserve nothing less than your best behavior as well. If emotional conflicts do arise, keep it confined to those involved and your supervisor if possible and try to stay calm.

Emotional things happen in other parts of your life. A professional keeps them away from work. If you can’t as in the loss of a loved one, health issues, family problems and more, then you may need to consider taking some time off to deal with these issues. Sometimes a day is all you need. Always keep your boss informed. Most companies also have human resources available to help you. Know what they offer and take advantage if you need them.

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Vocabulary #91

Here is this week’s vocabulary list.

croak – (verb) 1a. to make a deep harsh sound, 1b. to speak in a hoarse throaty voice; 2. grumble; 3. slang :  die.

edit¹ – (verb) 1a. to prepare (as literary material) for publication or public presentation, 2a. to assemble (as a moving picture or tape recording) by cutting and rearranging, 3a. to alter, adapt, or refine especially to bring about conformity to a standard or to suit a particular purpose; 2. to direct the publication of; 3. delete —usually used with out.

play² – (verb) 1a. to engage in sport or recreation :  frolic, 1b. to have sexual relations; especially :  to have promiscuous or illicit sexual relations —usually used in the phrase play around, 1c. (1) :  to move aimlessly about :  trifle (2) :  to toy or fiddle around with something (3) :  to deal or behave frivolously or mockingly :  jest (4) :  to deal in a light, speculative, or sportive manner (5) :  to make use of double meaning or of the similarity of sound of two words for stylistic or humorous effect; 2a. to take advantage, 2b. (1) :  flutter, frisk (2) :  to move or operate in a lively, irregular, or intermittent manner, 2c. to move or function freely within prescribed limits, 2d. to produce a stream; 3a.  (1) :  to perform music (2) :  to sound in performance (3) :  to emit sounds (4) :  to reproduce recorded sounds, 3b. (1) :  to act in a dramatic production (2) :  show, run, 3c. to be suitable for dramatic performance, 3d. to act with special consideration so as to gain favor, approval, or sympathy—often used in the phrase play up to, 3e. to produce a specified impression in performance; 4a. to engage or take part in a game, 4b. to perform in a position in a specified manner, 4c. to perform an action during one’s turn in a game, 4d. gamble, 4e. (1) :  to behave or conduct oneself in a specified way (2) :  to feign a specified state or quality (3) :  to take part in or assent to some activity : cooperate (4) :  to act so as to prove advantageous to another —usually used in the phrase play into the hands of, 5. to gain approval :  go over; 6a. (1) :  to engage in or occupy oneself with (2) :  to engage in (an activity) as a game (3) :  to deal with, handle, or manage (4) :  exploit, manipulate, 6b. to pretend to engage in the activities of, 6c. (1) :  to amount to by one’s efforts (2) :  to perform or execute for amusement or to deceive or mock (3) :  wreak (4) :  to use or introduce as a political or rhetorical strategy; 7a.  (1) :  to put on a performance of (a play) (2) :  to act in the character or part of (3) :  to act or perform in, 7b. to perform or act the part of; 8a. (1) :  to contend against in or as if in a game (2) :  to use as a contestant in a game (3):  to perform the duties associated with (a certain position) (4) :  to guard or move into position to defend against (an opponent) in a specified manner, 8b. (1) :  to wager in a game :  stake (2) :  to make wagers on (3) :  to speculate on or in (4) :  to operate on the basis of, 8c. to put into action in a game; especially :  to remove (a playing card) from one’s hand and place usually faceup on a table in one’s turn either as part of a scoring combination or as one’s contribution to a trick, 8d. to catch or pick up (a batted ball) :  field, 8e. to direct the course of (as a ball) :  hit; also :  to cause (a ball or puck) to rebound; 9a. to perform (music) on an instrument, 9b. to perform music on, 9c. to perform music of (a certain composer), 9d. (1) :  to cause (as a radio or phonograph) to emit sounds(2) :  to cause the recorded sound or image of (as a record or a magnetic tape) to be reproduced; 10a. wield, ply, 10b. to discharge, fire, or set off with continuous effect, 10c. to cause to move or operate lightly and irregularly or intermittently, 10d. to keep (a hooked fish) in action.

set¹b – (verb) 1. to be becoming :  be suitable :  fit; 2. to cover and warm eggs to hatch them; 3a. to affect one with or as if with weight, 3b. to place oneself in position in preparation for an action (as running); 4. to place oneself in position in preparation for an action (as running); 5a. to pass below the horizon :  go down, 5b. to come to an end; 6. to apply oneself to some activity; 7.  to have a specified direction in motion :  flow, tend; 8. of a dog :  to indicate the position of game by crouching or pointing; 9. to dance face to face with another in a square dance; 10a. to become solid or thickened by chemical or physical alteration, 10b. of a dye or color :  to become permanent, 10c. of a bone :  to become whole by growing together.

venture¹ – (verb) 1. to expose to hazard :  riskgamble; 2. to undertake the risks and dangers of :  brave; 3. to offer at the risk of rebuff, rejection, or censure; 4. to proceed especially in the face of danger.

All definitions are from To learn more about these words or about other words, visit this website.

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You have probably heard before that communication is an important part of life, both at home and at work. We talk about how to express yourself clearly, how to give a presentation, how to answer interview questions. In all of this we have discussed how to talk. But there is another part to this equation – how to listen.

It is only as you listen that you will be able to understand why a person is upset or happy. It is only as you listen that you will be able to learn a new idea. It is only as you listen that you will hear what question is being asked.

Of course there is a lot more to communication than just what is said verbally. But if you are so busy talking you will never learn what someone else has to say. Real communication is a two way street after all.

So when someone is talking whether at work or home or school unplug. Don’t listen to music or text while someone wants you to focus on them. Give them your undivided attention unless it is to jot a note for later. Concentrate on what they are saying. What is the main idea? What are the important points? What are the real concerns? If you listen, you can hear these things.

Be excited to share your own ideas, feelings, and experiences. But also be ready to listen.

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Vocabulary #90

Here is this week’s vocabulary list.

adulterate¹ – (verb) to corrupt, debase, or make impure by the addition of a foreign or inferior substance or element; especially :  to prepare for sale by replacing more valuable with less valuable or inert ingredients.

dilute¹ – (verb) 1. attenuate; 2. to make thinner or more liquid by admixture; 3. to diminish the strength, flavor, or brilliance of by admixture; 4. to decrease the per share value of (common stock) by increasing the total number of shares.

jest – (noun) 1. an utterance (as a jeer or quip) intended to be taken as mockery or humor; 2a. prank, 2b. a ludicrous circumstance or incident; 3a. a frivolous mood or manner, 3b. gaiety and merriment; 4. laughingstock.

maneuver¹ – (noun) 1a. a military or naval movement, 1b. an armed forces training exercise; especially :  an extended and large-scale training exercise involving military and naval units separately or in combination —often used in plural; 2. a procedure or method of working usually involving expert physical movement; 3a. evasive movement or shift of tactics, 3b. an intended and controlled variation from a straight and level flight path in the operation of an airplane; 4a. an action taken to gain a tactical end, 4b. an adroit and clever management of affairs often using trickery and deception.

resort¹ – (noun) 1a. one that affords aid or refuge :  resource, 1b. recourse; 2a. frequent, habitual, or general visiting, 2b. persons who frequent a place :  throng, 2c. (1) :  a frequently visited place :  haunt (2) :  a place providing recreation and entertainment especially to vacationers.

All definitions are from To learn more about these words or about other words, visit this website.

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Being You

We talk a lot with you in preparing you for the workforce about how to dress and how to act. There are certain standards that are expected at work in both these respects. People do judge you by appearances. They also judge you by your actions. We don’t want either of these things to get in the way of you being successful. Is it entirely fair? Probably not. But this is the way the world is.

However, there is another aspect to all of this. And that is the fact that you are an individual. And that is a powerful asset that you have if used properly.

Sure, there are different levels of experience and schooling. But by the time you get your interview, you and the other prospective candidates are probably pretty close to each other in terms of skills. What is going to differentiate you from the others at that point?

Simply who you are.

That is one of the reasons why we encourage you to learn how to be your best self.

If you are yourself, your best self, and let that shine through along with your passion for your profession you are going to be successful and probably sooner than later.

So follow the guidelines we have given you. Dress appropriately. Behave professionally. But within those parameters, be yourself.

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Vocabulary #89

Here is this week’s vocabulary list.

cut³ – (adjective) marked by a well-developed and highly defined musculature.

fare¹ – (verb) 1. go, travel; 2. get along, succeed; 3. eat, dine.

harmonize – (verb) 1. to play or sing in harmony; 2. to be in harmony; 3. to bring into consonance or accord; 4. to provide or accompany with harmony.

proceed – (verb) 1. to come forth from a source :  issue; 2a. to continue after a pause or interruption, 2b. to go on in an orderly regulated way; 3a. to begin and carry on an action, process, or movement, 3b. to be in the process of being accomplished; 4. to move along a course :  advance.

succeed – (verb) 1a. to come next after another in office or position or in possession of an estate; especially :  to inherit sovereignty, rank, or title, 1b. to follow after another in order; 2a. to turn out well, 2b. to attain a desired object or end; 3. to follow in sequence and especially immediately; 4. to come after as heir or successor.

All definitions are from To learn more about these words or about other words, visit this website.

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Get a Mentor, Be a Mentor

What is a mentor? A mentor is someone who has been in your profession longer than you have and thus knows things that a newcomer or someone less experienced might not even guess at. They not only show the person the mentor the ropes, they help them develop professionally and personally.

A mentor does not have to be someone at work. A person can have a mentor for something much more informal such as in hand bell ringing or boating. Even if a mentor is in a person’s professional field, that does not necessarily mean they have to work together. A person might have a mentor in a different part of the same company or even in a different company. (Make sure you are careful in such a situation. Make sure you never put yourself or your company in a compromised position because of mentoring.)

Still, it usually does make sense to create mentor relationships in the general area where you already work. Your boss might make a good mentor. In fact, that is part of what a good boss will do. Maybe for your mentor you want someone who has the position you want to have next.

Why do you want a mentor? It is an excellent way to learn. Every profession has unspoken rules that you need to know. A good mentor will help you stretch and reach your fullest potential.

Why do you want to be a mentor? Partly to pay it back. Someone, possibly many someones, have helped you to get to this point. It is a good thing to give back something in return. These people are your future colleagues, your future peers, possibly even your future boss. You want them to be the best they can be for their own sake, the sake of their company, and the sake of your shared profession.

Consider starting on the mentor process now. Is there someone who currently works in the field you will shortly be entering who could give you some advice? Is there someone here at school struggling with a class you have already taken that you could give a bit of help?

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