Being paid to do something doesn’t make you professional

I have to admit I do not like the term ‘professional’, I think it is a term that many people hide behind to make themselves look good, feel good or to validate themselves.

If you get paid to a job it seems that you are allowed to call yourself professional, regardless of if you are the best or worst at your job which I don’t think is fair. If someone were to come up to me and tell me that they were a professional, my reply would be “but how good are you at your job?”

I have worked in many paid and non paid positions, and I have to say I have worked with a lot of volunteers, who have acted more professional and done their job more professionally than someone people I have worked with, who have been paid to do a job.

If we are to use this nebulous term ‘professional’ we need to use it to reflect someone’s quality of work not someone’s income. A volunteer has as much right as a paid worker to be called professional, if their work and work rate reflects a professional standard.

If you are a volunteer, just because you aren’t getting paid you should still be striving to be professional and take pride in your work. Don’t let the term volunteer stop you from thinking that you can’t be better than people who get paid to do similar work. The great thing is if you can learn and do these things as a volunteer it is going to help you in your current paid work or to find new paying work, as you will be much more employable.

If you are in paid employment don’t just sit back and get comfortable because you think that this makes you a professional. Go out and earn that label, show the people that you work with and work for that you are professional in everything that you do. Never forget that there are people in non-paying jobs or out of work that would love to be in your position and do what you do, so don’t take it for granted.

Saving over Spending

You may remember I did a blog a little while ago on budgeting and the importance of budgeting brilliantly. Ever since I wrote that blog I have wanted to address the problem many people have of spending over saving.

Someone once told me – “life isn’t about what you earn it’s about what you save” and I think this statement is so true. If you earn a lot of money and just spend it all, you will be no richer than the person who made less money than you but knew how to save.

As the money you are making goes up your spending doesn’t have to go up with it! Sadly for many people when they get more money they decide to take on finance deals, sign big contracts or mortgages for property and buy brand new big ticket items without shopping round for the best deals.

Those of you that are in a fortunate place of earning good money, I implore you to plan for the future, as there is no guarantee that you will be making this money for the rest of your life. If your earnings do take a hit like if you lost your job or your company started seeing tough financial times, the companies that have given you credit are still going to want their money and you are still going to have to find a way to live.

I’m not saying don’t go and enjoy life and the rewards of your hard work, I’m just saying make sure you are prepared if life were to change in an instant. Have savings so you can live your retirement years as well as you lived your years in employment. Money can come and go but if you learn good money management skills they will never leave you and you will be able to deal with whatever comes your way.