28 Professionalism Quotes to Teach You What It’s All About

Are you in the mood for some awesome professionalism quotes? You may need some inspiration to kick-start a brand-new work week on the right note. Or maybe you are just looking for quotes to motivate your team. Either way, I’ve got just the collection of sayings that you need.

Let’s learn what professionalism stands for and how to do it right. And in case you are a free spirit rather than a corporate soul, don’t worry. I’ve got just the quotes to empower your individuality and independence by focusing on the not-so-sunny side of this popular concept.

Professionalism Quotes That Explain What It Means

#1. “Professionalism is about having integrity, honesty, and sincere regard for the personhood of the customer, in the context of always doing what is best for the business. Those two things do not need to be in conflict.” — Eric Lippert

#2. “My idea of professionalism is probably a lot of people’s idea of obsessive.” — David Fincher

#3. “Being a professional is doing the things you love to do on the days you don’t feel like doing them.” — Julius Irving

#4. “Professionalism is not about what work you do; it is about how well you do the work.” ― Amit Kalantri

#5. “Professional is not a label you give yourself; it’s a description you hope others will apply to you.” — David Maister

#6. “There’s nothing glorious about being a professional… Professionalism probably comes down to being able to work on a bad day.” — Norman Mailer

#7. “Professionalism is knowing how to do it, when to do it, and doing it.” — Frank Tyger

#8. “In business, ‘professionalism’ is not a tactic but a moral value.” — Amit Kalantri

#9. “Professionalism doesn’t mean you have to wear a business suit. Professionalism is being confident and respectful.”

#10. “Preparation breeds professionalism, and professionalism enhances leadership competencies.” — Noel DeJesus

#11. “A true professional not only follows but loves the processes, policies, and principles set by his profession.” ― Amit Kalantri

#12. “Believe passionately in what you do, and never knowingly compromise your standards and values. Act like a true professional, aiming for true excellence, and the money will follow.” — David Maister

Professionalism Quotes That Accentuate the Importance of the Work Itself

#13. “You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others. That’s the mark of a true professional. Professionalism has nothing to do with getting paid for your services.” — Joe Paterno

#14. “The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.” ― Steven Pressfield

#15. “We’ve never cared much for professionalism as long as the energy was there.” — Kurt Cobain

#16. “I am inspired by the professionalism of others. I believe there is an obligation to strive for excellence in what one is asked to do. No pains are too great, no revisions too tedious, no matter how small the result.” — Densey Clyne

#17. “If you want to feel secure, do what you already know how to do. If you want to be a true professional and continue to grow… go to the cutting edge of your competence, which means a temporary loss of security. So whenever you don’t quite know what you’re doing, know you’re growing.” — Madeline Hunter

#18. “The essence of professionalism is the focus upon the work and its demands while we are doing it, to the exclusion of all else.” — Steven Pressfield

Quotes About the Negative Side of Professionalism

#19. “‘What is more, sir,’ his lordship went on, ‘I believe I have a good idea of what you mean by ‘professionalism.’ It appears to mean getting one’s way by cheating and manipulating. It appears to mean serving the dictates of greed and advantage rather than those of goodness and the desire to see justice prevail in the world. If that is the ‘professionalism’ you refer to, sir, I don’t care much for it and have no wish to acquire it.’” ― Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day

#20. “There is a common perception that compassion is, if not actually an impediment, at least irrelevant to professional life.” — Dalai Lama

#21. “Be not professional in what you do, rather be excellent. Excellence has life in it; it has colors in it; it has sweetness in it; whereas professionalism is a dead corpse exuding the disgusting smell of obedience. Excellence requires no obedience, yet in excellence, you act your best, without all the life-sucking efforts.” ― Abhijit Naskar

#22. “The most unprofessional people are the ones that try to be professional.” ― Richie Norton

#23. “Professionalism is nothing but a crude insistence on the mechanization of mankind.” — Kedar Joshi

#24. “What worries me is the professionalism of everything.” — Irvine Welsh

Amateurism vs. Professionalism Quotes

#25. “Professionalism is environmental. Amateurism is anti-environmental. Professionalism merges the individual into patterns of total environment. Amateurism seeks the development of the total awareness of the individual and the critical awareness of the ground rules of society. The amateur can afford to lose.” — Marshall McLuhan

#26. “The difference between a professional and an amateur is like a difference between your dominant hand and non-dominant hand.” ― Amit Kalantri

#27. “There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” ― Agatha Christie

#28. “Amateurs look for challenges; professionals look for easy trades. Losers get high from the action; the pros look for the best odds.” — Alexander Elder

Final Thoughts

I truly hope that you have enjoyed reading through my collection of professionalism quotes. Sometimes, we want to excel at our jobs and be praised for the level of expertise we demonstrate. But other times, we are not thrilled to have to do particular things but are forced to because we are professionals.

Hopefully, these sayings have captured this ambivalence, and you were able to identify with it. Which side do you lean to more?