Make expertise your specialty
The very word professional implies that you are an expert. Technical competence is essential in printing.
- Become an expert in the skills and tools necessary to do your job.
- Always perform to the best of your ability.
- Keep your knowledge up to date.
- Join a professional body and if you are not sure about this – read on!
Professionals know their trade
Professionals practice good manners and proper etiquette. They have high ethical, technical and quality standards. They are honest and fair in all of their dealings with others. A professional obeys the law. These may sound like the attributes of a Boy Scout, but they are basic values that all professionals should follow. Many companies have a document that outlines their operating principles. Have you read yours?
Professionals adhere to high values and principles
Working with professionals is a pleasure, and I have been fortunate to work with some truly exemplary ones. There have been a few who liked to be treated as professionals without having to work and act like one.
You don’t have to look any further than the medical, finance and audit profession to see examples of true professionals. Think back upon those doctors you’ve liked the most and model your professionalism after theirs.
So, how do you measure up? Don’t feel bad if you need some work in one or more areas. Demeanor that is less than professional can lead to an image problem for you and your company. Negative images are hard to shake. Recognize any shortcomings you might have and begin working on your professional image and qualifications today.
Now for the good news
The South African Institute of Printing (SAIP) has been “rebooted” and is in the final throes of being recognized as a professional body. A new 'Council of Wise Men and Women' has been formed to guide this process, to set standards and to promote membership of the South African Institute of Printing (SAIP) which is a nonprofit organization.
SAIP is inviting printing professionals to join and application forms can be found on this website.
What does this mean to you?
Not unlike a Chartered Accountant, a Medical Professional, a Marketing expert or a Lawyer, you would be entitled to letters after your name. Initially this will be 'SAIP'. It will enhance your qualifications, your career, your self esteem, your future job opportunities, your business card and provide a certificate to hang on your wall.
Yes you will be required to keep your knowledge up-to-date and yes there will be a nominal annual fee (ranging from R50 per annum for a student to R350 for the various categories).
For a printing, packaging, or signage company it would be an excellent marketing tool to boast of print professionals in your team setting standards of excellence.
The newly reconstituted SAIP board, which operates under the auspice of Printing SA, is in full swing with Mike Bath as President, Thandi Moyo as Vice President, Mpho Ratlhogo as Treasurer, Steve Thobela CEO and a number of reputable industry leaders and specialists with a wealth of experience on the board and heading up different sub committees (pictured below). These are folk giving of their time to support the people in the Print Industry up-skill and go the extra mile.