There is a saying.
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are” – John Wooden.
But your reputation can follow you and impede parts of your life. Potential employers can search your social media, old friends who knew you once upon a time can crop back up bringing rumors from all the way back when with them. One of the most important things to any freelancer, self-employed person, and small business owner is reputation. It can make or break you. Professional relationships matter. It might be far beyond oncersation point with some people and you might find hiring the right lawyer can help no end.
But how do you fix one that has taken a turn for the worse? A terrible client or ex-friend spreading rumors can be very damaging.
Start by outlining which parts of your reputation need the overhaul.
- Work Ethic
- Not a Team Player
Then consider what you want people to think about you and why. The impact of a ruined reputation can be pretty catastrophic.
If you are currently applying for jobs and just can’t seem to land one, go ahead and go through your online persona. Handle things that might give the wrong impression of you. Perhaps you are a small business owner, and your past customers are considering if they should remain with you, and new clients aren’t knocking the door down to work with you – start asking for feedback from your most honest clients. See if you can either put straight the issue or address it so that it doesn’t happen again in the future.
Maybe you’re an employee right now and have found that you aren’t getting invited to work occasions outside of those that the company has arranged. Being frozen out of your team for things they think about you, that might not be true have more than an impact on your current position. If you are seen not to be working well within your team, the chances are very slim you’d be promoted to have more responsibility. Companies like team players that can be trusted.
You can handle most issues with your reputation head-on, so long as you are proactive in discovering where the ill feelings started. Sometimes it is the case that a person has taken a disliking to you and that has tainted the opinion of you with others. That might be out of your control, but you should still aim to clear the air.
Make sure that your reputation aligns nicely with your values. While it is important to fix any issues, you shouldn’t try to change things about yourself because someone may not like you. And, no one is perfect.
What do you want to be known for, and why
What are your long-term goals?
What is out of your control?
What can you change?
Write a plan that tackles how you can manage the reshaping of your reputation – both online and off.
That said, it might be worth removing a few of those Facebook photos of you drinking belly shots.
Take control of your reputation, and shape your future.