Your Reputation = Your Brand
The advice of “separating your personal and professional lives” may be a thing of the past. With technology and social media, like Facebook and Linkedin, it is increasingly difficult to keep those two lives separate.
So what does this mean for your career?
It now means that you have to be very mindful of how you treat people. While the initial cliché is becoming less applicable, the clichés “You never know who people know,” “Be careful of who you step on as you move up because those are the same people you’ll pass on your way down” and my personal Maya Angelou favorite, “People may not remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel” hold true more than ever.
As of now, your character, personality, and consistency in both your personal and professional life greatly impacts your reputation and brand. In essence, it is all of you!
If you’ve just started in your career and you have a pretty clean slate, below are some common sense tips for building a strong brand. On the other, if you are well into your career and you’re reputation could use some shoring up, I’ve included some tips on how to do that as well. If you’re rebuilding, it will take a while, so be patient.
11 Tips for Building a Strong Brand
1) Do what you are expected to do. You don’t get extra points for doing your job. For example, if you’re a parent, feeding and clothing your kids is expected. Or, if you’re an assistant, answering phones politely is expected.
2) Keep your word. People will consider this to determine your reliability. If you’re unsure you will be able to follow through, don’t commit to doing it.
3) Be respectful. Everyone wants to be respected and it goes a long way to winning people over. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ are always in order.
4) Be honest. Lies catch up with you eventually and the costs are often significant. Being labeled as a liar can destroy your reputation.
5) Use tact. Learning how to tell someone to go to hell and have them look forward to the ride is an art. Until you’ve mastered the art, simply share your preference using a pleasant tone of voice.
6) Pass the airport test. The question goes, “If you were stranded in an airport for several hours, would you want to hang out with this person?” When flipped, would someone dread or want to hang out with you if they were stranded in an airport?
7) Take responsibility. You’re going to make mistakes; we all do. It’s important to own them because that’s an indicator of maturity.
8) Learn from your mistakes. While we all make mistakes, it’s important that you learn from them. Making the same mistake over again and taking responsibility is unimpressive. You only get to make the same mistake twice before people become irritated. Learn from mistakes early and move on.
9) Be willing to learn. Being good at what you do is great; being a know it all is a pain in the butt. The reality is that you don’t know everything and there is always room to learn. If you know everything, you won’t last very long wherever you are.
10) Give credit. The fastest way to develop alliances is to acknowledge the talents and efforts of others.
11) Be consistent. The only thing worse than being unreliable is being inconsistent. At least when you’re unreliable, people can count on that. When you’re inconsistent, people don’t know what to expect and it makes them crazy!
Tips for Rebuilding Your Reputation
1) Go back and repair relationships. Chances are you ticked off a lot of people or a few powerful folks. In order to begin to move past that, you’ll have to eat some crow for a while and apologize, sincerely. Depending on the nature of the transgression, you may or may not be able to repair the damage. If that is the case, you will have to start over.
2) Do everything listed above to build a strong brand. If you at the end of your career then this may not seem worth it – it’s your call. But if you have some fight in you, determination, and have learned your lesson then I say “Go for it!” If you’re starting over in another career, then you have the advantage of hindsight.
Remember, these aren’t just tips for your career, they are tips for living a consistent life. We often are unaware of how people experience us and it can cost us big time. If you’re struggling and want to work with someone, find a good coach or therapist to help you. If you’re unsure of how to select someone to work with, download my tips on how to pick a good therapist.
With love and light, I wish you pleasant journeys!
Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential.
Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and personality development, Jinnie has a nearly 90 percent success rate with her clients. Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!