How To Fix Your Damaged Reputation at Work
Your reputation affects your professional success in the office, and it can even determine your career trajectory.
Because your reputation is so important, be aware of ways you can damage it and the
Steps you can take to improve this valuable asset.
When you meet new co-workers and clients for the first time, make a good first impression. Those few seconds set the foundation for future relationships.
If you have made a bad first impression, go above and beyond during your next interaction. Then continue to put your best foot forward as you show off your true professional self.
Solid relationships require trust. After you tell a lie, break confidentiality, gossip, or fail to follow through on commitments and promises, you may lose your job or face other professional challenges.
Always own up to your mistakes. Apologize to any co-workers or clients who were affected by your dishonesty or gossip, and make restitution if necessary. Commit to being honest in the future, too, as you rebuild your reputation for trustworthiness.
Chronic sarcasm, complaining, criticism, or aggression label you as someone with a negative attitude. You may find yourself passed over for important projects or unable to gain good professional references.
Meditate on positivity and look for the good. Cheerfulness and cooperation will help you transform your reputation at work.
When you put your earbuds in to complete reports, write ad copy or sell videos and refuse to interact with your co-workers, you give off the impression that you’re uncooperative and rude. You also miss valuable opportunities to network and build rapport.
Make an effort to get to know your co-workers. Be friendly, consult with co-workers and eat lunch in the break room to boost your reputation as a professional who cares about others and contributes to the company culture.
Occasionally, you may arrive late, miss a deadline or leave work early, but chronic tardiness or cutting out early means you’re not giving your all at work. This behavior shows that you’re unreliable.
To combat a reputation for chronic tardiness, allow extra time for your morning commute, prioritize tasks and take steps to boost your productivity. Also, stay on task until it’s officially time to clock out. Show your co-workers and clients that they can count on you.
Maybe you talk a lot because you want people to notice you or because you have great ideas about how to design clothes, distribute videos or repair bikes. All that talkativeness, especially if you don’t listen to others, can earn you a reputation as someone who’s difficult to work with.
Before you talk, consider if your words will contribute anything useful to the conversation, and then know when to stop talking. Actively listen to others, too, as you demonstrate understanding, humility and cooperation.
Your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook posts, pictures and comments are part of your professional and personal brand. If your social media presence portrays you as divisive, argumentative or unprofessional, your co-workers, clients and potential bosses will assume you’ll act the same way at work.
Remove any damaging social media pictures or posts, or delete your accounts. Then decide to avoid religious and political posts and all negative comments in the future as you repair your reputation.
Your professional reputation determines your success at work. Take these steps to repair a damaged reputation and protect yourself and your future.
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