Call me naive, but I really do not understand the word, Professionalism. The only time I like that word is when someone's angry, but he or she still has to get things done. That's why that person has to be "Professional."
Observing two people having an interview, I couldn't help but notice how uncomfortable both of them seemed. A lot of words, actions, and gestures were held back. The conversation wasn't free-flowing. Everything about it seemed too premeditated. You cannot get the feeling of spontaneity. On the brighter side, it looked really professional.
But sadly, they seemed like they were wearing masks, albeit very professional masks, all throughout the interview. I wondered, "Is this how they relate to their close friends? To their families? Is this how they share their wild ideas, their ambitious goals, and their bold dreams? Is this how they are in their personal lives?"
The sad thing about wearing masks at work is that the aliveness, the uniqueness, and the individuality are being dampened for the sake of "being professional." We are compartmentalizing who we are at work and who we truly are as feeling human beings too much. At the office, we cannot be too feeling.
We are separating our personal and professional lives too much.
Shouldn't work be an expression of humanity? Shouldn't work be an expression of love? Shouldn't work be an expression of who we truly are?
Shouldn't work be an expression of our ambitions, our goals, and our dreams that make us feel truly alive?
But, it seems like wearing a professional mask is a requirement for most companies. They usually have a requirement like "can handle things professionally" or "highly professional."
What does being "professional" really mean anyway? Why is it very important for most companies when it prevents ideas and love from flowing freely in the work place?
We are losing the opportunity to love and to make a difference in the work place because of our professional mask. No wonder most companies become less human as they grow.
Don't get me wrong. I also wear a mask when I am at the office. But, it's a mask I'm desperately trying to remove.
I sure hope that, one day, everyone can remove their masks at the places where they spend most of their productive years in, express themselves more, and love more. How great would that be?