For those of us who work in the trades, our careers are more than our livelihoods—they're our identities. We're people who create relationships with our materials, tools, and the people we build for. And we do it because to us, there's no greater pleasure than building something that will stand and serve people for generations to come.

Yet, trade work today doesn’t get the same respect it once did. Up until the Industrial Revolution—which fundamentally changed building technologies and modernized construction—tradesmen were revered members of society who studied their craft. Today, that reverence has largely dissipated as trade workers have become known less for their work, and more for their wear: tattered, unkempt clothing and poor manners.

First impressions (and second, and third) are so important in this industry, wherein your business's success is so often dependent on referrals. And according to our good friend Gary Katz of THISisCarpentry, simply conducting yourself like a professional can go a long way for you and your business—and our industry as a whole.

Today, we’re sharing Gary’s article on Honoring the Craft—a manifesto on why showing professionalism in trade careers is the first step in gaining the respect of your clients. Gary shares his valuable perspective on what professionalism sounds and looks like, and a checklist of tips to help you make a positive impression on your clients.

At Dunn Solutions, our goal is to help you stay informed by being your trusted resource. For more on how to set yourself up for success, be sure to check out professionalism mattershow to organize your work truck, and managing financials for your contracting business.