By Isqil Najim
According to the Chairman of Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE Ikeja Branch, Engr John Adedotun, Professionalism does not mean wearing a suit or carrying a briefcase; rather, it means conducting oneself with responsibility, integrity, accountability, and excellence..
He said this while presenting keynote address on theme, “Professionalism: Tool for Standard sustainability” at the Annual General Meeting of the Association of the Tilers Nigeria, ATN, in Lagos.
The Association of Tilers Nigeria, ATN, is affiliated with the Nigerian Association of Engineering Craftsmen, NAEC, established under the auspices of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, (COREN). COREN is the FG body established to regulate Engineering in Nigeria.
Speaking to the tilers , Adedotun stressed that Professionalism does not mean wearing a suit or carrying a briefcase; rather, it means conducting oneself with responsibility, integrity, accountability, and excellence. It means communicating effectively and appropriately and always finding a way to be productive.
According to him, “Employers want new workers to be responsible, ethical, and team oriented, and to possess strong communication, interpersonal, and problem solving skills. Wrap these skills up all together and you’ve got professionalism.”
Explaining further, he said that “Professional workers (at all levels) take responsibility for their own behaviour and work effectively with others. High quality work standards, honesty, and integrity are also part of the package. Professional employees look clean and neat and dress appropriately for the job. Communicating effectively and appropriately for the workplace is also an essential part of professionalism”
Adedotun added that “In any job, it’s important to be professional in your interactions with clients, managers, colleagues and partners. Professionalism is about being competent in your field of work, and about how you present and conduct yourself. There are some characteristics of professional behaviour that can be helpful to familiarise yourself with if you want to make a good impression and grow your career.”
“In many workplaces, the leadership outlines the expectations for behaviour and appearance of the staff. Part of being professional is adhering to these requirements.” He said
” Being professional encourages others to respect you and take you seriously. This means it can also impact your day-to-day interactions with your colleagues, clients and managers.
“Being professional shows that you’re committed to your work and have respect for your employer and the organisation’s aims. This helps to show that you’re responsible and dependable. This can also have a positive effect on your career prospects” he counselled
He suggested that, individuals should: follow company policies, be fully engaged with work, Show good attitude to clients and colleagues, embody the corporate culture, constantly develop themselves, take responsibility, and play their part toward organisation success. These will help “achieve high-quality results, while impressing and inspiring others – and feeling good about yourself.”
He advised on pathway toward professionalism to include, acquiring formal education, gain experience, get certified, build professional network with colleagues, upgrade their skills and most importantly, communicate effectively.
Earlier, Speaking, ATN President, Olarenwaju Hassan said that “the essence of the meeting is to bring all tilers in Nigeria together to create awareness on how to get professional tilers. There have been challenges caused by quacks which have prevented people from getting across to competent tilers. So, this is to create awareness about what we are doing to sanitize the industry. With our affiliation now with NAEC and COREN, authorised to register, regulate, and monitor all the activities of craftsmen/artisans in Nigeria, the ATN can have quacks arrested. And I can assure you that many of our members have been certified by NAEC and duly licensed by COREN as well as recognised as Engineering Craftsmen.”
He further noted “There are opportunities in the profession and in being a member of ATN, so we are encouraging others to come on board because we have rebranded and a lot of things are changing. We are changing the narrative. Before, people looked abroad to get professional tilers but I am telling you categorically that today, some of those foreign tilers cannot even do what we Nigerian tilers can do especially with technology being used in the industry. I encourage young ones to look away from white-collar jobs and come on board; it’s no longer in the certificate, it is in the ‘sabificate’. It’s what you know now that your hands can do, can put food on your table.”
Managing Director/CEO, CDK Integrated Industries, Mr. Bernard Alonge, who was Chairman of the occasion also said that there are lots of opportunities in the tiling industry in Nigeria. According to him, “For a long time and even now, Nigerians bought a lot of their tiles from outside the country” adding that now, “we have people investing in producing locally, but the challenge is that of quality because quality comes at a price and that is the area CDK emphasises on as one of the industry leaders.”
Alonge however regretted that “the business environment is very challenging which is general in Nigerian industry; first of all is the issue of power, we have to provide the power we use and as the cost of power goes up, it affects the cost of production. Because of that, Nigerians go for cheaper products while some businessmen import tiles from foreign countries thereby competing with those producing locally. It’s quite challenging.”