What Kind of Reputation Are You Building at Work?
Have you ever thought about the reputation you are building at work? Learn the six biggest reputation killers in the workplace (and what you can do about them).
You spend a large chunk of time every day at your place of work, have you ever considered the kind of reputation you are building there? Whether you are aware of it or not, the things you do/don't do in the workplace contribute to others' perceptions of you. Are you dependable? Are you someone your boss can count on to lead a project successfully? These are all questions you should ask yourself, and consider whether or not you're putting out the right signals to your boss and coworkers. Take control of your reputation, learn some behaviors that may be holding you back at work.
6 Ways You Could be Sabotaging Your Reputation at Work (and what to do about them)
Only working during the regular work hours: Consistently working 70 hours a week is unacceptable, and will lead to burnout. But there are times when you may need to work 70 hours one week to complete a critical project for the organization. Although you may have your work under control, if you work your mandated hours when your colleagues are struggling to complete an important project, you are not creating goodwill. Your boss will take note. You want to be known as the person who gives a helping hand.
Never completing projects and other work-related tasks on time: Do you consistently deliver your projects late because you have so much to do? Are you developing a reputation as someone who cannot manage her time effectively? The reality is that everyone has essential and non-essential tasks to perform. You have to be able to differentiate between the two. Spend the bulk of time completing essential tasks. Whenever your boss assigns you a new project, find out how urgent the task is. Prioritize all the projects and tasks that you have to complete, attaching timelines to them, based on your impressions. Meet with your boss, show her how you have prioritized your work, and ask for feedback. More than likely she will make suggestions. But she will appreciate it that you are not relying solely on her to set work priorities. This also demonstrates that you are a problem solver.
Never having enough time to get your work done: This may seem intuitive, but many people are skilled at squandering work time, instead of working on projects and other essential tasks. Attending too many meetings, frequently arriving late for work and leaving early, taking extra-long lunches on a regular basis, spending time at the “water cooler” to gossip, or goofing off, can cut into work time. Each day, make it a habit to block off hours of undisturbed time to do the work. Complete projects and tasks based on their priorities. Set your work goals weekly and daily, evaluating them daily and weekly to make sure that you are on track.
Taking credit for another’s work: A quick way to develop a bad reputation at work is to take credit for another person’s work. When you work on a project with other people, keep an accurate record of your contributions. This not only ensures that you do not accidentally take credit for work you didn’t do, but it will also come in handy when you are having career conversations with your boss.
Hiding an error: Everyone makes errors at work. If you were to talk to the most successful people, you would be amazed by some of the major errors they made, and the number of failures they experienced on their way to the top. The trick is that they learn from the errors and mistakes they make. Always take the high road. When you make an error, take responsibility, and let those affected know what steps you plan to take to move forward.
Not investing the time to build a good reputation: Having no reputation can be worse than having a bad reputation. Stand for something. What do you want to be known for? What makes you uniquely you? Start investing time to build your personal brand, so you become known for that one thing - you become the go-to person for that one thing. That one thing and your name will become synonymous.
Conclusion: What Kind of Reputation Are You Building at Work?
You may be unknowingly building a bad reputation at work. The list above is not an exhaustive one, but check yourself for those habits. When engaging in an activity at work, is it taking you closer to or further away from your goal? How will your actions impact others?