As they say, your reputation precedes you. Anytime you walk into a job interview or meet with a prospective client, your reputation will influence the way people view you. Are you doing enough to build a positive reputation? Your answer to this one simple question could ultimately determine your potential for years to come.
“Reputation is the currency upon which your fortune will be built – It is the main criteria people will use to judge you and your work,” says professor Phil Turner in a conversation with PlagiarismCheck.org. “Only a good reputation will allow you to earn a living.”
Every situation is unique, and you’ll have to figure out what it looks like as your career evolves, but here are some basic tips for building a positive reputation over a long period of time.
1. Always Tell the Truth
It’s easier said than done, but you can avoid putting yourself in a lot of bad situations by simply telling the truth. While telling the truth might get you in trouble on the front end, it’s going to save your rear down the road. It’ll also give you a reputation of being someone other people can depend on. Trustworthy individuals are often the quickest to get promoted when a job becomes open.
2. Put Your Head Down and Work
When you think about some of the people you’ve worked with over the years, many of the people with the best reputations are those who keep to themselves. Instead of constantly inserting themselves into whatever drama is happening, they mind their own business and keep pushing through. There’s a lesson to be learned here. You can build a strong reputation by putting your head down and working.
3. Be Easy to Work With
One of the greatest compliments a boss, client, or coworker can give you is to tell other people that you’re easy to work with. People like working with individuals who are easy to get along with. It makes their job far less stressful and usually indicates a better quality end product.
4. Make Others Look Good
We all have a natural inclination to make ourselves look good – and there’s nothing wrong with that. You are often your only advocate. However, there’s something to be said for also making those around you look good. When your peers realize that you elevate them, they’re much more likely to have your back in the future.
5. Always Stay Positive And Professional
The final suggestion is to stay positive and professional. Negativity is rampant in the business world and it’s easy to get caught up in office politics and petty behavior. By staying positive and professional, no matter the circumstances, you can stand out as someone who takes the high road.
Never Let Up Your Guard
The scary thing about a reputation is that it takes decades and decades to build and can come crumbling down in a matter of minutes. Take Bill Cosby as an example. For years, he was the torchbearer for what it looked like to be a family man above reproach; then, in a matter of weeks, a series of sexual assault allegations made him a villain. While you hopefully won’t ever find yourself in a situation anything close to this, it just goes to show how quickly a reputation can evaporate.
As you look to build a strong reputation in your career, never let down your guard. Whether it’s in private or public, you have to be consistent in everything you do. Everyone may not like or agree with what you do, but at least they’ll respect you for staying true to who you are.
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