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What does it mean to be a professional? Stephen Waddington, who used to do public relations for me when I was living and working in Europe, has just written a piece about professionalism and professional status for The Drumin which he argues that there are five tests for a profession:barrier to entry, community of practice, body of knowledge, ethical framework, and continuous professional development. These are indeed characteristics of the regulated professions, but there is another quite reasonable usage of the word “professional”, which describes a person who is thoroughly versed in, and deeply committed to, the skills and practice of a particular discipline. This usage often implies that it’s your full-time job. For example, we talk of professional athletes, dancers, project managers, programmers, and so on. Read more