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Woman says professionalism at work is a ‘control mechanism’ used by powerful people, sparks debate

The content creator believes that "rich and powerful suck every drop of originality of working people" but the internet doesn't agree with her.

Woman says professionalism at work is a ‘control mechanism’ used by powerful people, sparks debate
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @chaotic_philosopher

We have always been told about the absolute need to maintain professionalism at work. There are certain lines we cannot cross, certain ways to express our thoughts and certain dress codes to follow, whether we like it or not. But a few millennials or younger ones are expressing objections about the implementation of professionalism at offices; they believe that it is something that should have been left in the past and doesn't sit right with the evolving modern work culture.

Image Source: TikTok | @chaotic_philosopher
Image Source: TikTok | @chaotic_philosopher


@chaotic_philosopher, who is an Alaska-based content creator, has ignited a debate in the TikTok community by speaking against professionalism at workplaces. Sarah Trefren frequently shares her opinions and commentary on economic, political and social issues and now, she has expressed her thoughts on the nature and role of professionalism in contemporary offices. In her viral video, she delivers a message, calling for the withdrawal of professionalism.

"Professionalism is a control mechanism the powerful use on others. It needs to burn," she captioned her video which she posted in 2022. The overlay texts in her clip that appear along with is0kenny's hit track "Speak Up" playing in the background, explain her unfiltered thoughts on professionalism. She believes it to be a tool of control exerted by powerful people on their subordinates. The video shows her saying "speak up" along with the lyrics of the song after each statement floats up on the screen. 

Image Source: TikTok | @chaotic_philosopher
Image Source: TikTok | @chaotic_philosopher


"Yes, we need professionalism it's important," the first statement on the clip reads. "We need you to make a good impression in the workplace. There is a time and place for certain behaviors and actions," the next two statements read. The last statement mentions how professionalism is there so "the rich and powerful can suck every drop of originality and creativity out of working people so they stay in their lane." 

However, her strong opinions gave room for a heated debate in the comment section. A small share of netizens sided with her and related to her unconventional sentiments about professionalism whereas others gave her a "reality check." @meticulousbirdz remarked: "There’s a difference between professionalism that is used to control workers arbitrarily and professionalism that is used to facilitate standards." @anthropicfate commented: "We live in a society and there is a contract to participate in that society. You can say whatever or be however but you have to be kind and respectful." @kittyt_77 shared: "If need cash and the bank doesn’t open on time or have a doctors appointment and the doctor is 2 hours late back from lunch. Is that ok? Reality check."

Representational Image Source: Pexels
Representational Image Source: Pexels


@syddsatyrn made an important point and wrote: "Creativity and individualism isn't the same thing as following the rules and expectations your employer set from the start." @permanent_fugue added: "In my opinion, professionalism means competence, respect, and integrity, which are vital for effective communication and collaboration. Adopt inclusive professionalism for change." @gothbeef chimed in and wrote: "Choosing to work somewhere means you are agreeing to the set standards of the job. Uniforms, timeliness, and professional behavior."

Image courtesy: TikTok/
Image courtesy: TikTok/

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