It’s interesting to me what we understand by the word ‘professional’ these days.

To ‘profess’ comes from the latin words ‘pro’ – in front – and ‘fateor’ – to confess openly – and can be echoed closely in the phrase you often hear in the business world these days: ‘I’m just putting it out there.”

From profess we can see how the words professor and profession come to be.  While a profession comes to mean an occupation, however, these days when we use the term ‘professional’ we don’t just mean someone who does their job.  We also mean someone who does it well.

In the main the term has been appropriated for the white collar jobs.  A sales professional sounds better than a sales woman or sales man.  The exception to this is in sports like soccer, where you hear people refer to someone as a ‘true’ or ‘real’ professional, which says more about the immense majority who are not.

So my ask of you is this: what is people’s view of you?  Are you fulfilling your profession, doing your job, or are you a professional?  Which one has more chance of being considered indispensable?