Employers’ expectations are continually changing, and employees must adapt to these changes to keep their jobs. Be it a small-scale business or a big enterprise; every business owner expects staffers to display professional maturity in the workplace consistently.
Building professional maturity at work is essential as it denotes seriousness, professionalism and helps to fulfil career objectives.
Becoming more professional at work begins with having a positive mindset, demonstrating dedication and exhibiting maturity skills.
Whether we admit it or not, we all have some habits that make us seem immature, but at what point do we start exhibiting maturity at work?
This article will take you through 10 signs that show you’re gaining professional maturity in the workplace.
When small talks no longer excite you
Everybody gossips. It’s just human nature. But when gossiping becomes a habit, it can be destructive and hurt your job.
However, when maturity sets in, you will no longer be fascinated by trivial issues like gossiping about your manager or a client with colleagues. Instead, you will be more interested in discussions that will aid your personal and professional growth.
For instance, in your free time, you will prefer to discuss work-related issues or learn new skills rather than involving yourself in irrelevant discussions.
You will prefer to sleep on a Friday night out.
Young employees are going out for drinks after work hours as a way to unwind after a long day at work.
However, work productivity is affected when an employee parties and drinks too much. The excessive times used partying can be invested in some career development courses.
As new responsibilities such as getting promoted at work unravel or having a baby, one begins to value proper rest than unnecessary night outs to be more productive.
You forgive more
Conflict among colleagues is inevitable, and if left unheeded, can lead to significant stress and reduced productivity.
Forgiveness in the workplace is key to achieving workforce goals, and as such, co-workers must learn to work through their differences as a team to produce the best result.
A way to work through conflict is to assert your thoughts diplomatically rather than bottling unrepaired emotions.
The ability to forgive a co-worker or boss who erred against you is a sign of emotional and professional maturity, especially when you feel victimized or offended at work.
You will become more open-minded.
Open-mindedness means being receptive to a variety of ideas, arguments, and information. Being open-minded is generally considered a positive quality, as it allows you to think critically and rationally and accept feedback.
In an increasingly polarized workplace, being able to step outside your comfort zone and consider other perspectives and ideas is essential to personal and professional growth.
Diversity is not constrained to physical attributes, like race, gender and religion. It also encompasses differences in work style and personalities.
Embracing workplace diversity is essential, as it increases the talent pool and brings new ideas, perspectives and talents to the workforce.
Whether you’d like to admit it or not, your co-workers will not always agree with your views, 100%. It’s important to respect their opinions and inputs to be a productive team member.
Like brainstorming sessions at the start of a project or mid-project evaluation meetings, people are likely to feel respected if their opinions are acknowledged.
For instance, instead of a Senior Accountant rejecting a response presented by a junior colleague outrightly, The Senior Accountant will listen and acknowledge the points raised.
Your ability to accept others’ opinions or views even when they don’t resonate with yours, signals professional maturity.
You don’t force love on anyone.
We all deserved to be loved and valued; however, we cannot force people to like or commit to us. Work relationships are complicated, and feeling despised by your colleagues can serve to make things trickier.
The workplace isn’t about displaying your personality, but also your capabilities.
No rule states that your colleagues or boss must love you. However, your ability to deliver your work flawlessly and consistently will endear you to your colleagues and everyone in the workplace.
For instance, if you are exceptional at organizing training, your colleagues and bosses will always call on you when it’s time to host one because they trust you to deliver.
The key is not to force colleagues to love you but volunteer your time more at work, to showcase your abilities that open the doors for better opportunities.
You accept heartaches
Employment relationships are like romantic ones. You spot the job of your dreams, go on several interviews and are filled with ecstasy when hired.
Initially, you are excited, but after a while, you realize that the job is not what you expected. You start having thoughts of quitting.
People become broken and shattered due to the hurdles faced in their careers. Some reasons are low motivation, salary reduction and job loss, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heartaches in the workplace can affect employees’ concentration and productivity. It takes professional maturity to be able to persevere through adversities and take charge of your career.
You don’t judge very quickly.
Just as the famous dictum goes: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
More than we care to admit, we sometimes prejudged individuals both positively and negatively before taking time to know them.
Often, employers and HR managers make quick decisions based on employee’s articulation skills, writing ability, or appearance.
Some employees have been tagged lazy and incompetent by HR managers because they aren’t outspoken in meetings.
Instead of judging a team member, a weak performer for a quiet demeanour, it is always good to wait and observe their overall performance.
Your ability to interact with different personalities at work and not judge is an indication of professional maturity.
You sometimes prefer to be silent than engage in a nonsense fight
Conflicts in the workplace are inevitable as the office consists of individuals of different ages, backgrounds, levels of experience and personalities.
Engaging in a verbal or physical fight in the workplace is detrimental to your deliverables and personal reputation.
Your ability to step away from high heated situations shows a high level of maturity.
Your happiness no longer depends on people but yourself.
We should learn to rely on making ourselves happy and not depend on family, friends or colleagues.
You will realize your manager will not always praise your excellent work, and as such, don’t ever get disappointed.
Instead of feeling downcast, see your manager’s action as a motivation to upskill yourself.
In a nutshell, achieving satisfaction and happiness in life is not dependent on people, but on you.
When you start developing self-respect and self-acceptance, you’ll begin to live a more purposeful and fulfilling life.