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What do professional values mean? Professional value is a generic term for principles that are major and unique to practicing a profession. In simple words, they are the guiding beliefs and principles that influence our work behavior (profession). The latter part of this article will talk about core values and how it affects our professional values. You cannot give what you don’t have; that’s why it said above that professional values are, in most cases, extensions of our core values.

Professional values differ across all professions. Professional values in medicine are different from that of lawyers, and professional values in Law are different from that of the banking sector.


For everything, there is a purpose; for every purpose, there is a value attached to it. We can’t all behave anyhow we want and expect things to turn out well. Some sacrifices must be made to make things work out well. We all cannot be the same because we are all from different backgrounds, and even twins at times do not act and behave in the same way. We are humans with emotions and diverse characters, which affect our decisions in one way or the other. We are different from each other, and that’s why our likeness differs, although our goals might be similar.


We are different from each other, and that’s why our profession differs too. It’s only in rare cases that you see everybody in a family go into the same profession except for family business which you are bound to take responsibility for. There have been stories of families who the father and mother, including their children, are all medical doctors, but it doesn’t always turn out that way.

We have our lives to live, and that is why professional values are essential. We have all heard of values in the past and how important they are.

professional values


While these values may change over time and around different life events, your core values and beliefs should remain the same. Although some values are deemed more beneficial than others in some respective professions, some universal values shouldn’t be compromised. No profession encourages hate for others; even soldiers are trained to save and kill the enemy. This is an example of the universal value that we are talking about. No profession encourages dishonesty; you might want to think about the situation in the Law court.

For instance, in a murder case where the offender gets a lawyer to defend him in Law and the defender also hires a lawyer to prosecute the offender. There are cases where the offender gets discharged and acquainted based on no crime, and it’s most likely possible that they have committed the crime. Now, we must understand that every profession has its rules, and, in such cases, the court gives room for investigation.

The court doesn’t work based on assumption or mere words; it is how well your lawyer can convince the judge by providing enable pieces of evidence. It is not that they are encouraging crime. So far, you can get a good lawyer to defend you, but the law court doesn’t operate based on mere words. The same thing applies to why a soldier would shoot at another soldier so far; it’s the enemy, the soldier can gun him down.


Why are professional values important?

professional values


How will you feel if a doctor with dreadlocks attends to you in the hospital? What will be in your mind if the nurse designated to you has long nails with his or her hair long and flashy. You might not talk, but there will be a question mark in your mind about the person’s diligence.

Although dressing doesn’t affect your level of competence, so far you know what you are doing, you are good to go. But on the side of the people that you are dealing with, how will they receive you? There is nothing wrong if you put on your round-neck shirt, ripped jeans, and black sunshade when you are going to club, but you can’t do that to court as a lawyer.


Some professional values and ethics govern each profession. Professional values are essential because it helps to portray a professional image through reliability, consistency, and honesty. It’s brings knowing and taking responsibility for our actions. A doctor cannot afford to be negligent and absent-minded.

An accountant also cannot take things for granted. People’s life and well-being are sometimes attached to decisions made by some professionals.

Moreover, part of professional values and ethics includes dressing and acting appropriately. There are professional attire and attire for some other events. It is professionally wrong for a firefighter to dress in clothes that would affect his operations. Professional values allow us to know the basic needs and beliefs to succeed in a specific profession. Professional values are also essential to deliver work outcomes to an acceptable and agreed-on quality and standard.


In short, professional values are essential because of the following:

  • Better work ethics
  • Professional look
  • Accountability
  • Responsibility
  • Quality work standard


General Universal Values

professional values


We have learned that irrespective of profession, some universal values don’t change at all. They are standards for the right living. These are universal and appropriate values for all professions and scenarios, whether you are just going for a job interview or working already or just taking up a new role at work.

  • Appropriate dressing: You will be addressed the way you dress. Every profession appreciates dressing properly; ask about it if you are not sure of the dress code in your profession. Every profession has its appropriate dressing style; a doctor’s dressing is different from that of an engineer.
  • Politeness: Part of professional values and ethics is being polite to your bosses, colleagues, customers, and even junior colleagues. This helps you to have a good working relationship. This earns you respect from people and keeps your relationship healthy with them.
  • Punctuality: There is a famous saying that “punctuality is the soul of business.” Turning up on time shows that you have passion for the job and you are happy with it. Getting to work late or not showing up at all is a sign of irresponsibility on the employee’s side.
  • Honesty: When working for a company, you can damage your own and your company’s reputation by dishonesty. When you, as an employee, become very dishonest to customers and partners at work, it will chase people away from the company. This could be due to wanting to make excess profits or putting on sale products or services below quality.
  • Respect for others: Another universal value that is very important in any profession is respect for others. Nobody deserves to be treated in a wrong way, irrespective of position or societal status. And every profession encourages it.
  • Confidentiality: An employee, irrespective of the profession, must hide information and just let the people involved know not more than what they are expected to know. An employee must not be too porous in disbursing information and details.
  • Responsibility and personal development: Part of responsibility as an employee is meeting deadlines for jobs and tasks at hand. Part of your responsibility is personal growth and development. It would help if you improved on yourself daily.

Core Values and Professional Values

professional values


What are core values? These are the set of fundamental beliefs, ideals, and practices that inform you on how you conduct your life in both a personal and professional manner. In an organizational setting, values are put in place to maintain by the employees, and this helps the organization determine how they allocate resources and sustain growth. Some of the general universal values have been listed above.


Do our core values affect our professional values? Yes, it does. If a person is found wanting in the core values, his professional values should be under scrutiny. Another question you might want to find an answer to is this: Must your core values align with your professional values? Of course, it should. When your core values don’t align with your professional values, there will be issues.

How to identify your core values


To find out your core values, you need to reflect on what is important to you. It might be challenging to identify what exactly, especially if you are the type that lives in the moment. But through patience and attentiveness, you will indeed identify it though it might be hard to accept.

  • What drives you?
  • What professional environment suits your values?
  • What qualities do you admire in people, especially people you call your role model?
  • What inspires and motivates you?
  • What qualities do you wish to develop?


These questions and more might help identify your core values. And you can also become a member of the Black Sheep community to meet with our seasoned experts.

Contact us.