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Professionalism to Me: Legal and Ethical Considerations

Introduction

My name is Priscilla Vega. I am an administrative supervisor with U.S. Seal Manufacturing Company at Somerset in New Jersey. I have held the position since the year 2006. I have a degree from the University of Adelphi where I studied Management and Communications.

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My experiences

Working for the U.S. Seal Manufacturing company involves reporting directly to the general manager. In this position, I supervise more than ten employees and about twenty six sales representatives. Working with people who have different personalities is not easy especially considering I have to oversee activities that are directly related to making products and providing excellent services to the company’s clients. My work, in addition, involves coordinating and directing the production, pricing and sales as well as distribution of products.

From the places I have worked and the qualifications I have from my course, I believe I have excellent administration and management experience. The experience has armed me with knowledge in business and management principles which involves preparation, allotment of resources, representation of human resource, methods of management, production methods and ability to organize groups and resources.

I have an broad and established track documentation in the ability to use logic as well as reasoning in order to identify the strong points and weak points in alternative solutions, conclusions and approaches to the problems I face in the work place. This is besides the fact that I also have to manage and organize trade shows whose main purpose is to advertise our products, and organize the company’s monetary and budget activities to fund its operations, make the most of investments and boost efficiency.

Besides managing these activities, it is my responsibility to manage the staff that has been put directly under my supervision. This involves preparing their work programs and assigning particular tasks to them every single working day. In order for the company operations to run smoothly, some of these has to be done before the day for which it is intended. This is sometimes quite demanding as the pending activities could interfere.

Moreover, the job of determining the staffing requirements is on my shoulders. This is not to mention conducting interviews, hiring and training new employees in the company. My job description also includes planning and directing activities such as sales promotions, coordinating with the rest of the company departmental heads and synchronizing the activities and operations in the company.

The determination of merchandise and services to be sold out to customers, setting the worth of this merchandise and services as well as the provisions for credit based on the predictions of customer demand has also been left entirely in my accountability. This means that if there are errors in what I do, I could be responsible for the big loses the company is bound to make. It is quite a sensitive position.

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Previously, I worked as a National business support analyst for Pitney Bowes Management Services in New York. This position involved reporting directly to the vice president of the organization. This was from the year 2001 to 2004 before I joined U.S. Seal Manufacturing. Here, like in my present position, I managed and reported for seven sites. My work has often involved direct contact with clients.

It therefore goes without saying that I had the responsibility to resolve the grievances of customers and answer their questions regarding the organization’s procedures and activities. I acted as the supervisor for the work of employees in the office, managerial and customer service departments in order to make certain that they stuck to quality standards, time limits and appropriate dealings of the company. Supervisory duties involved correcting errors and mistakes where they occurred which meant I had to pay attention to minute details.

At Pitney Bowes, I provided employees with direction in managing difficult problems and resolving grievances and disagreements. I had to also execute company and departmental policies, procedures and service values and this had to be done in alliance with the executive team. It would be appropriate to assert that I have often worked as a mediator between management, employees and clients.

At that time, I discussed problems stumbled upon in work routine with the employees so as to identify the origin of these problems and find lasting solutions. Like at U.S. Seal, I also had the duty to recruit, interview, select, train and instruct new employees in the duties they had in the company. This also included interpreting and informing employees about work procedures and policies of the company. As a support analyst, I would assess their professional performance, conformance to the laid down set of laws and also propose the suitable action to be taken by personnel.

I also evaluated records and information that related to the activities which include manufacture of services and products, payroll and distribution so as to ensure that the minutiae were accurate, kept an eye on work activities and evaluated the performance of work. My other responsibilities included testing and training new web and international applications.

I have also worked for Salomon Smith Barney in the IBD Print Production and support Services between 1995 and 2001. My position was that of Administrative assistant where I was under the vice president. Here, I coordinated the activities of twenty members in the executive management team. My responsibilities involved creation and maintenance of a database and allocation of expenses to suitable groups as well as maintenance of the chargeback system for every support service in the company.

I collected evaluated and analyzed reports and account information for trends and anomalies. More to this was the preparation of responses to associates which contained custom inquiries and grievances. It was also my duty to interface with management, clients, vendors and the production team to ensure smooth operations.

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At Salomon Smith, I prepared programs and made preparations for meetings involving the panel, board and other workers and executive personnel. I also prepared and kept statements, reports, memorandums, letters, financial data and other company documents for the administration.

I have also worked for the same company as a secretary in the year 1998. In this position, I operated the office equipment like the fax machines, copiers and phone systems. The job required that I have computer skills for operations like the worksheet. As a secretary, I conferred with clients in order to provide them with information about products and services. I took calls and messages for other staff. It was also my duty to set up and maintain the filing system.

Completion of forms in accordance with the company procedures was also left to me. Besides maintaining the filing system, I made copies of correspondence and reviewed work done by other staff. This exposed me to the working methods of other people in the Organization and to information I would otherwise have not known. Also, by composing and typing reports, my skills were improved.

Between 1997 and 1998, I worked for Salomon in the Temp-Olsten Services where my main work involved data entry and customer service. It is therefore the Salomon Smith Barney company that has built a great part of my career.

Additional experience

Between 2005 and 2006, I had the opportunity to work for the Victory International Company USA, LLC as an administrative sales assistant. The company was new and needed careful handling in order to get it from the cradle stage and trigger its progress. In the position, I worked directly under the chief financial officer. My position demanded that I supervise the regional sales managers and review the operational records, at the same time creating records to project sales. I prepared budgets. Before doing so, I consulted with the chief financial officer to establish profitability and endorse the expenditure in the budget. I directed and managed sales and promotional activities.

As a district sales assistant in W. W. Grainger, Inc., I reported to the director. I was also put under two district transaction supervisors. This was between 2004 and 2005. This was also a new business venture and required management support. I helped the management to recruit a new inside sales team. I also order furniture for the new office. I prepare reports and arranged meetings besides maintaining the office equipment and participating in other projects.

I have also acquired the skill to manage not just my time but also other employees’ time. This has especially been gained in my work as a supervisor. Time is a very important asset in any organization and can cost or build the organization depending on how it is utilized. Since the processes in firms are not always smooth, I have acquired the ability to manage complex problems as they are presented to me by situations as well as employees.

In order to deal with such problems, it is helpful to review any related information so as to evaluate the choices accessible in finding ways out and execute those solutions. Poor management has been known to cost firms a great deal of loses which should be avoided at all costs. I have especially sought to consider the virtual expenses and profit involved in probable actions and this has helped me to choose the most appropriate actions.

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Professionalism as I see it

There are many definitions of professionalism. However, I have my way of defining this and looking at the professional ethics from my observations in my job experience. Josh, a manager at HVAC thinks of it in two ways. One is putting a strong effect into working and setting a goal to a better employee with the goal of helping the organization succeed. Secondly, he says it is being professional in all the daily activities. A professional should separate personal activities from business and be impartial in organizational decisions. A professional also knows how to work with colleagues for a common goal. This can not be achieved if the person does not have the necessary skills and ethics to finish any set task.

An associate director at Ernst and Young, Lubna, defines professionalism as much more than god performance. He says it includes ability to stand for one’s opinion and respect those of others. It also entails being the finest that one can possibly afford to. He adds that professionalism is not tangible (Mallor).

Agreeing with this, Velasquez’s view is that professional ethics demands that an employee put the interest of the organization ahead of their own. Ethics also involves confidence which can only be got if an individual knows their job well. In addition, no one person can claim to know the whole lot as regards their job. Probing comes in handy. This means that a professional should always be willing to learn. Being ready to help other employees is also a selfless gesture that will enable them to be willing to help as well.

Fairness and respect for other people are virtues. According to Mallor, this implies treating others the same way one would want to be treated. Punctuality is a not to be left out in the definition of professionalism. As a supervisor, I learnt to manage my time as well the time of other staff below me. This goes with respect for my time and other people’s time.

Many professionals could agree with me that walking the talk is a sure way towards meeting an organization’s goals. This involves doing what I say and telling others what I do so as to set a good example. However, the interests of other stakeholders should not at any one tine be compromised. This includes clients, employees and the company as a whole (Professionalism).

Analysis of business ethical theory

Business ethics often refers to avoiding breaking the law in the work one does, avoiding any action that could lead to civil law suits against the organization and avoiding activities that ruin the image of the organization. Public relation experts and attorneys are a good investment for companies to guide workers in their daily activities. These experts can however not teach one to be ethical. This is a responsibility of parents and the social environment.

On the other hand, moral obligations in business which are approved by nations are contained in the law. These include honesty in business dealings, product safety, and safe conditions at the workplace, fair hiring and firing. Morality also has to be derived from the profit motive as well as the law (Gene, 1983). To sum it, business ethics dictate that the organization should avoid harm, be fair in all activities, respect human rights and not break the rationality philosophical choices of people.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, professionals demonstrate courtesy, respect and honesty for others besides acts of fairness with the clients, other employees, management and competitors, investors and business associates, suppliers and associates. In addition, it is compliance with health, safety and the legal regulations applicable to the business according to the law of that particular country. Professionalism also involves conducting business in an ethical and humanistic way. It is also upon the employee to investigate and resolve any conflicts arising within the organization before it blows out of proportion, respecting the opinions and views of others.

Wherever there are interactions involving different locations, professionals recognize the diversity in the workforce and respect the various groups present. This is the only way that people if different backgrounds can work successfully. In a firm where business ethics and professionalism are practiced, the vision, mission and goals and objectives of the organization are communicated and interpreted and employees are trained in accordance with the requirements of the organization.

People in the firm are also conscious of the business environment in which they work and therefore utilize the available resources for the benefit of the organization, at the same time protecting that environment.

Professionalism requires individuals to benchmark their performance against their fellow workmates and other external organizations. It is the responsibility of the individual to have good quality and quantity of work which others can look at and want to emulate. Many organizations have codes of conduct which they demand their employees study and follow. Ethics, conduct and integrity among other things are automatically included in the concept of professionalism in most organizations. From the moment one gets through the doors of an organization, they should strive to do the best they can and promote improvement in all the processes of that organization. Deliver what you commit yourself to deliver.

I intend to go back to school for a masters in Business Administration. My objective is to become an executive using the academic training, skills and experience that I have acquired through my course work and other previous job experiences. I wish to be remembered as a professional whom people could recommend to their friends and acquaintances. I also want people in the profession to stop and think of me as one who were in the profession not because of the remuneration but because I wanted to contribute positively to growth in society, a go-getter who lived by the slogan, ‘winners are losers who never give up.’

Reference:

Gene, Laczniak, “Business Ethics: A Manager’s Primer,” 1983.

Mallor, Jane, et.al., Business Law: The Ethical, Global, and E-Commerce Environment (14th Edition), New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

“Professionalism.”. 2009. Web.

Velasquez, Manuel. Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases (6th Edition), Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006.

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