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Everyone makes mistakes, but some gaffs are worse than others. According to John Brandon of Inc., there are certain snafus that can actually ruin your good name, and in a great Daily Muse post called “3 Surefire Ways to Kill Your Reputation,” he shares excellent tips on what not to do at your place of employment.

“In a few cases, you can create a reputation for yourself that fosters a negative vibe in the office — or even earns you a pink slip,” Brandon writes. “It can be hard to recover from that.”

Don’t let it happen to you. Read on and heed his warnings.

1. Don’t Hog Someone Else’s Credit — If something goes right, chances are it’s not totally your doing. When the company lands a big account or has a really big month, Brandon suggests you ask yourself the following questions: “What role did you really play? Should you take credit for the pre-sales work only? Is it enough to let everyone in the office know you are happy with the overall outcome?” The best strategy, he says, is to avoid taking credit at all. Your work should speak for itself.

2. Never Cover Up an Error — You can’t hide from the truth. If you screw up big time and cost the company business, fess up straight away. If the bosses find out later, things will only be worse — for everyone. “The sooner you come clean about losing a signed contract or getting into a fight with a competitor, the more time everyone has to deal with the problem and take corrective action,” Brandon writes.

3. Avoid Dropping the Ball Repeatedly — If you’re constantly finishing work late and holding up the team, people are going to notice. As Brandon writes, you’ll have a hard time saving your reputation once coworkers get the sense they can’t depend on you. If you find yourself slipping, and you’re worried about being that guy, don’t fret. Just work extra hard on the next project, Brandon advises. “You’ll be surprised how forgiving people can be if you start finishing up your work early.”


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