Acting as a True Professional
The way you interact with people can make or break a career. Everyone in this business knows that even though you are dealing with animals on a day-to-day basis, you are also working with people. Showing respect to others and listening to their opinions — even though those viewpoints differ from yours — demonstrates a willingness to get along with others. Professional conduct comes down to treating others the way you want to be treated.
Learning how to be a professional should start before you get your job. If you are immersed in studies, you should also become aware of people in your profession. Is there anyone you admire? Take your cues from a mentor or by observing others in the field you want to enter. If people in your desired profession wear suits, dress the part.
Remember your manners. This seems like such a simple thought. A kind greeting or a sincere thank-you really goes a long way. Addressing colleagues and clients by their names shows respect.
A professional attitude and good manners go hand in hand. In addition to looking and acting the part, professionals should use good manners in every situation — from writing polite e-mails to being on time for meetings. You shouldn't substitute e-mails for interaction. If you have a question or an idea, talk to your coworkers, boss, or employees. The same goes for interacting with clients. Sure, e-mail is fast, but it is a good idea to pick up the phone every once in a while to keep the business relationship friendly.
Stick with a professional attitude after-hours, too. Treat others with respect even when you are away from the office. Poor business etiquette puts you in a bad light. When people don't respect you, they won't look up to you as a leader, and in turn your business will suffer. Good business etiquette is about being comfortable and making others feel comfortable around you.