We’ll spend hours upon hours each week focusing on our daily tasks, but how often do we take the time to think about, or even work on, the vibes we’re sending to colleagues? Our colleagues are the ones determining our reputation at work, and what they say about us can make a difference in our upward trajectory. For example, on a daily basis…
Are you someone who arrives early to work and stays late if needed?
Do you come prepared for meetings with a clear agenda and action plan?
Will you take an extra minute to thank the receptionist for rearranging your schedule?
I guarantee your colleagues notice even the littlest things, and that they’re using them to draw conclusions about you as a person. Here are 3 things to remember when it comes to your reputation in the workplace, as well as what to watch out for!
1. Your Reputation Never Takes the Day Off
That’s right! Even if you’re having a bad day outside of the office, you should try to keep it from affecting your work. Most people won’t take the time to ask why you were being standoffish during a meeting, even if it’s only because of sleep deprivation from a late-night emergency run. Instead, they’ll most likely conclude you’re short tempered and an unenjoyable partner. While it’s impossible to be perfect 24/7, make it a point to send positive vibes as often as possible.
2. It Can Be Damaged in the Blink of an Eye
It’s a bit of a double standard, but that reputation you’ve been working for months to create can be damaged with one misstep. For example, I was once on a conference call with a team of over 200 people listening to senior leadership provide a quarterly update. One of the participants accidentally sent a group chat (instead of to a specific colleague) mocking our organization’s Vice President. Although she had no intention of high jacking her career, her opportunity for growth at our company ended with one click of the button. For months, she was known as the woman with the “WebEx mishap” before eventually leaving the company.
3. Promotions are based on Reputation
Having a good reputation is crucial in the workplace, especially if you want to impress your boss and move up the corporate ladder. How many times have you taken a colleague’s recommendation for new team members on high-visibility projects? Personally, I’d take a personal recommendation over any paper qualification. Your daily habits, like the ones we discussed above, will get you referred for, or left out of, the promotion conversation. Not to mention, it’s also unlikely that you’ll stay at one company for the rest of your career, so you’ll need a good character reference to land the next big gig!
So, what next? Well, I challenge you to set aside one day this week for reputation tracking. On your iPhone, make a note of all of your actions, in actions and the responses you get from colleagues during a 24-hour period. Then, I want you to take a few minutes to see if you’re happy with how your list looks. If so, your reputation at work will most likely be a positive one that leads to more opportunities. But, if the list has things like “I was 10 minutes late to a meeting” or “I forgot to email Bob the newest marketing proposal,” then it might be time to start a Reputation re-vamp tour that rivals Taylor Swift!