Professionalism is an essential term in understanding the basics of efficient and successful working life in the last decade. Initially, it refers to well-balanced, executive work where the person is aware of their responsibilities and rights and knows how to follow the rules required for the job in an organized, creative way. However, professionalism cannot be described in two words because it is a quite broad term that consists of various characteristics and aspects that are identified as professional working experience. Indeed, every employer and every job requires a specific number of skills and abilities that an employee ought to have in order to be sufficient and successful in the workplace. Studies have shown that the best work performance is achieved by carefully improving workers’ skills in a friendly and empathetic environment. Hence, it is significant to emphasize the skills needed to be a professional personal support worker and my self-reflection on my past experience.
To begin with, a job of a support worker implies constant communication and connection with completely different people. Therefore, the skills that can impress an employer are directly connected with the social aspect of this work. People have to be empathetic, kind, patient, and quite sociable to succeed in the field of helping others (Brundiers et al., 2017). Management studies scientists distinguish these complex and necessary professional skills: connected with communication, relationship-building, service coordination, and capacity-building skills (Allen et al., 2018). Further, those counseling skills are deeply rooted in life experience, connected with receiving information from other people. Most importantly, counseling is related to abilities that already exist in non-professional life because they are essential for any human being – the worker’s goal is to learn to apply these skills in their profession (McLeod, 2019). Therefore, I am convinced that it is important to be aware of the intricate details of professional skills and show my own contribution to such professionalism in the workplace and in regular life.
The nature of communication skills is quite self-explanatory: people are professional at this skill when they are compassionate, friendly, kind, empathetic, and respectful enough to be a good communicators. In my opinion, I can impress my co-workers with an understanding of human nature and love towards every person I have a chance to work with. For example, in my work, there was a situation when a disabled woman could not come into the office because it was not wheelchair-accessible. I went outside to help her and to communicate so that our workspace could change for the better. She was quite angry and irritated at first, but when she realized I was on her side completely, the woman opened up to me. That day, she told me about her health problems and how she had learned to enjoy life again. After that, I made a suggestion to my boss that it is necessary to have equipment for any disabled person’s needs, and the woman was very grateful. However, it is a long process, but some of the disabled-friendly materials were placed correctly, and the woman was very grateful. Additionally, this situation helped me improve my connection and communication skills and be confident in my ability to hear and understand everyone around me.
Interpersonal and Relationship-Building Skills
Interpersonal skills can be similar to the aforementioned communication skills, but relationship-building is a particularly professional term. Obviously, any counseling job requires workers to constantly make new acquaintances and be well-organized when working in a group. To my mind, I am talented at managing interpersonal relations in the workspace and in everyday life. In my previous job, I realized that three of my closest co-workers did not get along well, and their conflicts were impeding everyone’s work. I talked to all of them, understood their claims against each other, and made them start being friendly again, which really boosted our work performance because it was smooth and less rowdy.
Service Coordination and Navigation Skills
Another essential ability for a support worker is to be of good service and have advanced coordination skills. This means being accurate and attentive when it comes to your client’s needs and wants. Moreover, I think I am reasonably successful in this sphere of work because I can recall many instances when my clients were very grateful for my well-managed service coordination skills. For example, I had a family of clients who had quite disturbing health problems, I coordinated all the information about their health history and listened to the parents and children simultaneously, so everyone felt validated and heard. This skill is necessary for those who want to succeed in counseling and helping people professionally.
Capacity-building skill is rather organization-centered because it helps with improving any processes and resources that the company needs to adapt and be relevant in our innovative world that is constantly changing. To my mind, this ability is not so hard to be advanced at because our young generation is very good at making adjustments to gain clients’ attention and trust. I realized my capacity-building skill was quite impressive when my previous employer said that the company’s purchases and followers increased drastically after my contribution to promoting the healthy benefits of our support programs in a fun, lightweight style. My co-workers and clients found this promotion technique rather beneficial.
To conclude, there are four main professional skills that I can share with my future clients. To my mind, these skills can be highly suitable for the job of a support worker and be quite effective when applying them in real life. Considering my rich experience in this sphere, I think my knowledge and abilities are rather impressive. Nevertheless, I am always open to criticism and try to learn from others in the community.
Allen, C. G., Brownstein, J. N., Cole, M., Hirsch, G., Williamson, S., & Rosenthal, E. L. (2018). Building a framework for community health worker skills proficiency assessment to support ongoing professional development. The Journal of ambulatory care management, 41(4), 298-307.
Brundiers, K., & Wiek, A. (2017). Beyond interpersonal competence: Teaching and learning professional skills in sustainability. Education Sciences, 7(1), 39.
McLeod, J., & McLeod, J. (2019). Integrating deliberate practice into a counsellor training programme. In BACP Research Conference: Shaping counselling practice and policy: the next 25 years.