Working for a fee paid by a client means you are in a profession. It doesn’t make you a professional.
Professionals go further, they consider others needs, they respect the environment and traditions of the situation, they do more than is asked skilfully and with panache. They nuance the delivery, recognise others contributions and create value from their chosen approach.
They ask different questions. They pause to reflect. When things change they reconsider their own approach, and check and validate. They listen, and act on what they hear. They strive to improve.
More notable by its absence in our everyday experience, professionals stand out. We know professionalism when we see it, and at its pinnacle professional is one of those things that can genuinely be considered a destination. The most professional know that they still can do more, be more, and aspire to reach new levels. We all can enjoy, and learn from, the journey every day, provided we chose to travel.