What’s Your Reputation?

Building a Reputation Consistent With Your Career Goals

Your reputation needs to have firm foundations.

© iStockphoto/fotoVoyager

"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." – Henry Ford

When it comes to reputation, actions speak louder than words. What you DO means much more than what you say about yourself or your work.

Reputation is also fickle. It can take years to build a good reputation and only seconds to destroy it. This makes personal reputation management a hot topic these days.

Organizations have long recognized the importance of how they are viewed in the marketplace, and have practiced reputation management for years. But individuals are now also realizing that their career prospects, and their ability to secure interesting and challenging work assignments, hinge on their personal reputation. You can achieve real and quantifiable returns by building and maintaining a good reputation with your employer, co-workers, clients and others in your personal and professional network.

Your reputation is what you're known for. Reputation is about what others believe to be true about your character, personality, skills, competencies and values. People develop an opinion of these things based on what they have experienced.

When you leave a positive impression, you open up many doors of opportunity. A poor reputation, despite great credentials, is enough to close doors and alienate others.

Elements of Reputation

Since reputation is so critical to your success, you need to be aware of the four main elements that form your professional reputation:

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