8 Ways to Build a Professional Reputation of Excellence Starting Today


What people think and say about you when you aren’t in the room is known as your reputation. And it matters a lot. You want the people you work with to perceive you as someone who cares about the work you do and the people you work with. It is up to you, each and every day, to bring the best version of yourself to work.

If you don’t feel you are getting the recognition you deserve, try implementing some of these ideas today and see what happens.

Master your role. Before you are ready to take on new challenges, you must perform your job exceptionally well. That means more than just completing assigned tasks. You’ll need to do your job exceptionally well. Performance and understanding of technical skills are only part of mastery. You must be able to prove you care about the work you do. This includes arriving to work on time, fully completing projects before the deadline and demonstrating emotional intelligence, which is your ability to understand and control your emotions and the emotions of other people. Don’t overlook the importance of developing your self-awareness, empathy, motivation, self-regulation and social skills.

Champion a special project. Once you’ve mastered your current role, look for other opportunities within your organization to lead a special project. Large or small, every team has a project that ends up on the back burner due to time constraints or insufficient resources. Touch base with your manager first and ask if there is a postponed project you could help with.

Suggest improvements. Instead of complaining or criticizing an initiative, provide an alternate solution that would improve upon the task at hand. It’s easy to find fault, but much tougher to suggest alternative solutions. And if you do speak up, be prepared to lead the project.

Advocate for others. Go ahead and talk about the great things your company and team have accomplished. Give a public shout-out on social media to someone who went out of their way to help you solve a problem or thank the team for working together to meet a deadline. It is far easier to highlight the work other people do than it is to promote your own efforts.

Contribute to online communities. You accomplish multiple goals when you offer help or share lessons learned with other people in online communities. Be on the lookout for questions you’ve had experience solving and be prepared to share how you overcame the hurdles. When you contribute to online communities, not only do people see you are a valuable resource, they also recognize the fact that you took the time to help other people. Being a compassionate community member also earns you recognition and respect.

Always do the right thing. There will be times when you’ll feel conflicted. You should listen to your gut. Speak up, stand up or walk away. From avoiding office gossip to taking a moral high ground on how to resolve a client issue, part of your reputation is where you stand on ethical or moral issues. It’s up to you to stick to what you believe in. Just realize, not everyone will have the same beliefs you do. This could become a potential problem and may even result in you losing your job. At the end of the day, you will need to stand behind any decision you make.

Over prepare for everything you do. Over prepare for your upcoming meeting. Know the facts and know how you will present the information to best connect with the people you are speaking with. You can even over prepare for meetings where you attend without having to present. Review the topics on the agenda, review previous minutes or action items and be prepared to take notes. Even your workday can become more efficient when you establish a productive routine and create a list of action items. Build strong habits today which will carry you forward in your career.

Treat others kindly. There’s an old saying that implies you should treat others as you’d want to be treated. In other words, be kind. Remember simple things like saying thank you when someone holds the door or does a favor for you. It takes very little effort on your part to make someone feel appreciated. Remember the small things matter!

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