When someone tells you: “You shouldn’t care what others think about you; do whatever you want”…….I say: “Not so fast.”
Because I believe you do need to think of your reputation before acting on whatever you feel like in the moment; reputation precedes you and therefore you should care what others think or say about you, especially if they have a say what happens to your career.
Building a solid brand is extremely important to your career and here is my advice on how you can do that:
- Start building your reputation early on in your career or the moment you start a new job, especially if you think you may want to work there for a while or promote. Don’t wait until your dream position opens to begin acting and saying the right things. Whether you want to promote or not, always do the right thing, pay attention to your attitude, and what you say to your boss, peers, and other employees.
- Always be on time or early and have a great work ethic in everything you do; your work ethic will not go unnoticed, believe me.
- Take initiative – Don’t expect to always be told what to do or do only what is required in your job responsibilities. Seek to impress by taking on other tasks and job duties, improve a process that perhaps needs attention or accomplish something your boss wanted to do but never had time.
- Always keep your word – It is so important to keep your word and say what you do and do what you say. Also, do not make promises you cannot keep or say something you would do but you don’t; there is nothing more upsetting than expecting something only to find out the other person never followed-through. If you do not believe you can keep your promise, say nothing or say you will try so the other person does not hope in vain.
- Support your boss and help him/her look good – Being reputable does not stop at your reputation but it also means others can count on you and being supportive of your boss is very important. When your boss succeeds, you also succeed and although some bosses take credit for employees’ work, remain supportive because “what goes around, comes around,” and you will either find a better job or he/she will eventually fail without your help.
- Dress appropriately and watch your body language – Always dress appropriately for the position you are holding; you are not only representing yourself but also the company and your boss. Likewise, your body language communicates a lot about who you are, so be careful what you are saying with your body.
- Be genuine and consistent – Everyone can read through you so most people will know right away if they can trust you, if you are honorable, if you are sincere, just by what you are saying and how you are behaving. Also, be consistent in your behavior so that others know what to expect; be kind and humble in everything you do and with everyone you meet.
- Have integrity – Act with integrity in everything you do. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of integrity; if we don’t have integrity, then we have nothing! Integrity lies at the heart of who we are, what we stand for, and how we go about our business.
- Be likeable and respectful – I know we all have our moments and we are not happy 100% of the time; however, we should try to be pleasant even when we are experiencing challenging times at work or home. We should always be aware of our attitude and behavior, especially when dealing with our boss or employees.
- On-duty and Off-duty behaviors should mirror one another; it is equally important to treat your off-duty time with the same ethics, respect, and
Building a good reputation takes time but is completely worth the effort; one’s reputation is a valuable asset and you can read about its value in this Psychology Today article, The Value of a Good Reputation.