What is "Professional?"
"What you earn measures your degree of professionalism. So the amount you make is what really counts." This philosophy is relatively strong in the capitalist world. This means, in other words, professionals are people who do things based on money. So professionals even include some people with no motivation but keep on getting their salary, such as famous Japanese life-long salaryman. It sounds weird. Are professionals just getting money?
Professionals are the ones who impress people of different eras and places by their work. Professional work exceeds standards of their days. It has value that is independent of time and culture. For example:
- An incredible invention of the period with almost no proper tools.
- A great music disk with old instruments and recording equipments.
- A Precise and gorgeous drawing with scientific accuracy.
- Calculations of planet orbits without the use of computers.
Producers of great work get paid if their outcome matches the requirements of the time. If they don't match, they don't get paid well, and they even result in "great amateurs." So the amount of money they make is only a matter of matching the requirements of the era, but not to their degree of professionalism. Then who are the people making impressive work throughout time and place?
There seem to be some commonalities. I would state it "branding," that shows "this is my work" or "I am here." The work is branded with pride. It is well made with precision and care, with soul and spirit, and with responsibility and seriousness, and is executed with enthusiasm and curiosity.
When there are compromises, the brand would be compromised. Less compromises and more perfection, enhance the degree of professionalism. Continuous efforts would gain aura that might impress people throughout time and place.
In conclusion, the definition of "Professional" is the way you brand yourself.