Few ways people damage their reputation at work
If you go by the definition of reputation, it is a belief or an opinion that’s generally held about someone or something. In other words, your reputation is in the hands of others. Sometimes you may have good intentions but others can misinterpret them. Believe it or not, the most important thing for a young person is to establish credibility… a reputation that would speak volumes for them. Every action can build or damage one’s reputation. We think that these small things don’t matter but they do. A single instance of bad behaviour can impact one’s reputation immensely. Here are some of the ways that people end up damaging their reputation at work.
Are you a thorough professional?
If you are impolite or difficult to work with, there are high chances that other employees talk about your conduct. Directly or indirectly, they have characterised you in a certain way that they wouldn’t want to work with you in the same team. You never know, you might meet an old colleague of yours in a new company and the image that they have of you will be shared with others as well. Once an impression is formed, it is very difficult to alter that.
People who harass others, especially in the case of sexual harassment, are often terminated and blacklisted so other companies also think twice before getting them on board. Our words and the way we conduct ourselves matters a lot to our reputation. Imagine, nobody wants to work with you because of your reputation. There’s no point feeling bad because it is your conduct that led to this situation. One should be careful with the words that are used to address people and should be disciplined in the office so that all the colleagues look up to them and want to work with them.
Gossiping at the workplace
Talking about others behind their backs is something that everyone does at some level. While it may seem harmless when you try to crack a joke on someone or comment on their demeanour, it can prove threatening to someone’s reputation. Rumours could lead to misconceptions about an individual who might not even be aware of what is happening. People tend to gossip when they start judging others on anything and everything. They don’t have the full information or know the person well-enough to have an opinion on them. However, engaging in office gossip or starting them leads to tarnishing others’ reputations and eventually yours as people start distancing themselves from those who try to bring others down. The simple mantra to adopt should be live and let live.
Dressing too casually in the office can be a problem. On the other hand, dressing too formally can be one as well. Be careful while choosing your outfit to work. It matters how you dress – be good with your style and try not to overdo it. A minimalist yet classy approach would do your reputation wonders.
By arguing with your seniors or colleagues, people might think that you are not mature enough to handle more responsibility at the workplace as rather than understanding what is to be done, you are just busy proving that you are right. Keep calm in such situations where you think there is a problem. I am sure there will be other ways to deal with the problem. If you can calmly defuse the tension and prioritise getting the work done, it will work well for your reputation. Seniors would entrust you with more responsibilities as they know that you are level-headed.
People may hear your words but they feel your attitude. The right attitude at the right time can get you on the desired path. Your attitude can attract more opportunities for you. Show your best behaviour and accept your mistakes when you have done something wrong. Don’t blame others for your shortcomings and don’t let your ego get the better of you. You might secure small wins when you are trying to please your ego, but in the long run, it will cost you.
You may think that people won’t notice but they do. They won’t say anything to you but they can tell someone who can terminate you. In the end, you will be unemployed and it would stay on your record for life. Don’t get intoxicated or indulge in substance abuse while at work.
Misuse of social media
Everyone wants to be at the top of their game when it comes to social media. While sharing updates on what’s happening, make sure that you don’t post racist, sexist, or offensive comments on the platform. Not only people will unfollow you if they see you indulging in such malpractices but it can also impact your work life. Many companies these days do background checks on employees that they are going to hire and since social media profiles are easily accessible, one gets to know what kind of behaviour you exhibit on the apps.
If you let the emotions get the better of you, nobody will trust you with important tasks. They will feel that you are not reliable as you cannot control your emotions. Show your emotions only when necessary. It is best to avoid expressing overtly in the office.
Everybody is smart enough to understand when you are being honest and when you are lying. For instance, telling someone that you are doing great when you are not is fine but if you start bringing excuses to work that hampers your productivity, that’s not acceptable. If you have the right attitude and a positive mindset towards your work, you won’t have to make excuses. You’ll find a way that will be beneficial for you as well as the company.
If you had a call or a meeting for which you didn’t turn up, it would reflect poorly on you. If you are telling people that you will call or you will meet them but you are not doing so, people might not trust you the next time. They’ll start feeling that you think that their time is not valuable. One should respect everybody’s time so that they respect yours. Credibility is of utmost importance to one’s reputation.
One of the most important points to ponder on, work-life balance is the need of the hour. By working longer, not only are you exhausting yourself but are also getting irritated because you are missing out on your family/me time. Your frustration will impact your work and the mood of others who are working with you. Maintain a healthy balance between your work and personal life. During working hours, devote yourself totally to the tasks that need to be done. At the same time, post work, spend time with your loved ones and use that time to release your stress.
Lastly, remember that your reputation precedes you. Even before people have met you, they would have heard things about you that define how you function as an individual. Bring your best version to work by ensuring that you are level-headed and disciplined in all aspects.