Up to Snuff #15: Definition of a Professional

A Definition of a Professional 

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

A professional could be the equivalent of that directional decision or epiphany one has when they desire “expertise” in a subject or field.  The other day in a technology role one woman thought perhaps she will become an “apps expert” or an apprentice in skilled trades or research the history of Santeria.  Many blocks of knowledge present opportunity to win expertise and become a “professional.”

A professional could be someone like the example in this week’s readings about Edward Rolf Tufte, who may have become so “professional” that he offers a one day course, writes books and works as a Yale professor and sculptor.[1]  Tufte’s example illustrates mastership in several fields such as “data” or “elegant design” which is exhibited by quality products, services, and dissemination-when the quality of ones tasks, results and ability achieves a degree of professionalism.  An indicator of a “professional” may be also the alignment with teaching something they know, or having achieved professorship or become a trainer.

Professionalism elicits respect.  Professionalism may be characteristic of a “singular effort,” “practiced discipline and skill”[2].  Many professionals find that their positions require them to “write in response to a problem,”[3] ask questions, write on diverse subjects and in diverse professional styles.  Professionals are also said to require professional meetings and often write for and read professional journals.

Professionals when they start to break down problems that become prominent in their roles need skills for problem solving.  Problems can be broken down into two elements called “technical” or “fundamental workings of the professional discipline” or two “rhetorical” “the “communication of workings about what has been done and will be done about them to the people interested.”[4]

A professional may also likely avoid disputes, arguing, fighting or undesirable comments about performance.  Traditional professionals study in many schools of knowledge and achieve degrees from associate to Ph.D.  [5]

When looking in Latin for roots to professional or professor or “proficio,” “things like public declaration  of one’s name, property or occupation, authority, expert, authoritative, of persons who make progress, advance, gain ground-maybe even literally, to be of use, to assist, to help, to declare oneself anything.”[6]

A professional may also be someone who keeps society “running well, effectively, efficiently, humanely.” [7] Professional has also been described as a “social notion.” [8] Professional is also described as “high standards of performance, accuracy, thoroughness, honesty and integrity.”[9]

A professional may utilize sophisticated tools, software or hardware, or specific trade resources and in the example of “Latin prose composition as suggested by Cassell’s Latin Dictionary, regarded as an integral part of classical scholarship the student should refer back to the Latin-English for further illumination.”[10]

[1]Smith, Fran, Stanford Magazine, “Intelligent Designs: When Information needs to be communicated Edward Tufte Demands both Truth and Beauty” Page 1

https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=32152#.WA8ACFzYS5c.email

[2] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[3] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[4] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[5]Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work,  2002, pages 3-5.

[6] Simpson, D.P., Cassell’s Latin Dictionary, 1968, page 477.

[7] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[8] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[9] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[10]Simpson, D.P., Cassell’s Latin Dictionary, Latin-English, Wiley Publishing, 1968, Preface, p. vii

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