Tuesday, November 8, 2016

"People Should Easily Recognize That We Are Professionals"

The term "professional" actually has two meanings. When applied to a skilled person, it's what people respect and what they look for when they want results. While amateur athletes at the college level and younger are revered for their talent and dedication to their respective sports, and Olympic athletes who are still amateurs are likewise admired for the dedication, skill, and performance, people flock to professional sporting venues to support their favorite athletes.

Generally people want to watch a professional performance - on the athletic field or in their homes - and also appreciate a professional approach to an issue they are facing.

They typically don't call just an average plumber - someone unskilled, unproven, or inconsistent - when they have a drain blockage or a leak. When they have an issue with their vehicle, they don't look for just anyone to take their car to but to one that they can trust. They don't want an unskilled person working on their roof or attempting a kitchen remodel, although they may appreciate a much lower price from that person.

I remember as a kids that we would talk about professional baseball players (and those in other sports also), and think that they were called "pro" or "professional" because they were the best at what they did. Only later did we find out they were considered professional because they were paid to do it.

In any endeavor - and certainly what we do as aging-in-place professionals - we can be professional because we work diligently to be the best at what we do. We study potential solutions that we can provide, we work on our communication skills and interviewing techniques so that we can discern what our customers want and need, we use the best techniques for evaluating and assessing our client's homes and living spaces so that we can make the most appropriate suggestions for them, and we work with the most talented strategic partners to help us create the solutions that our clients require.


We practice our profession to become even better at it. We are dedicated to being the best so we can deliver to our clients what they want, need, and expect from us - and what they are paying to receive in terms of our reputation, workmanship, and solutions. We constantly work on being even better than we are.

We our clients or anyone else watch us perform, they should remark at how effortlessly we make the work seem and how we just seem to know what we are doing - like we have done this so many times before that it second-nature for us to do it.


Thus, we are professional in performance.

We also are paid well to do our jobs for our clients - by them directly or through a third party such as an insurance company, non-profit organization, or government agency.

That makes us professional on both counts - both because we are the best at what we do and because we are paid to be that good. Actually, just being paid to perform work on a regular basis makes us professional, but when we do that work in an outstanding manner, that truly makes us a professional.



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Steve HoffackerCAPS, C.E.A.C., MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.