Reputation Management: Who's In Control?
There comes a time when we start to realize that our lives are so much more important than doing whatever we please. Sure we all want to have fun and live while we're young; but, at some point, we should begin to take into account the real consequences of our actions.
Sooner or later, they all reflect in our reputations.
Merriam Webster defines reputation as "the overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general." It reflects the way we are viewed from the exterior and the perception people have of us because of what we do.
Based on the definition, you may think that your reputation is something entirely out of your control. However, you have control over every aspect of your life... so long as you choose to handle it with care!
In one of our latest blog posts, we tackled the importance of being your best self in order to live your best life. We went through the value of self-awareness and being mindful of the way your actions affect others. Today, we're adding to that and touching on how your actions ultimately affect yourself.
It's no coincidence that both go hand-in-hand. Cleaning up your outside is just as valuable as cleaning up your inside and your reputation is a big part of that "live your best life" movement.
Of course, you should never live your life for others (especially if they aren't paying your bills); but, ensuring that you present the best version of yourself in every capacity is not only important, but also extremely beneficial.
Having a good reputation opens doors, personally and professionally.
For example, if you have a the reputation of a "hard-worker," you are more likely to be recommended for higher positions in the work place. If you are regarded as a "trust-worthy" or "reliable" person, people are more likely to take your word. Ultimately, your outward perception can be the catalyst for opportunities.
On the flip side, a negative reputation can lead to the opposite -- being overlooked, or not valued for what you're actually worth.
According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 43 percent of employers use social media to check on current employees.
This means that employers/potential employers are looking at the way we present ourselves to the world. Of course we all have our "work" personalities; but, how we carry ourselves in our personal lives reflect who we really are and that's who they're trying to see.
This is only one reason why projecting the best version of yourself is so important. It's not just reflected in the way you treat others. It also means taking into consideration the things you put out there.
For all of us, this includes how we carry ourselves in public settings and professional environments, the way we speak and act towards others (in public and private), and our social media personas.
Don't worry, we're not trying to stop anyone's "hot-girl summer" or their shine; but, we are saying that the things we do in life can affect more than just the number of likes we get. Our actions are representative of who we are and, because there's often one chance to make a lasting impact, you want to ensure that you always put your best foot forward.
In regard to social media, this doesn't only include the photos we post; but, also the things we like, share, and comment on.
Think about it, people can deduce a lot about a someone's character based on the things they like and share. For example, you can safely assume a person's views on immigration if they constantly post MAGA pictures and pro-Donald Trump memes ( enough said...).
This absolutely does not mean to erase our social presences (because who doesn't like the platforms?); but, in the wider scope of things, it does mean that we should be careful of the reputation we build everyday and the person we present to the world.
Warren Buffet (tech multi-millionaire) says it like this, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."
And it's so true! Our reputations are our resumes. It's the world's first impression of us and it is up to us to ensure that the first impression is a great one! Of course, we can still be ourselves, have fun, and live our lives to the fullest; but, in doing so, we can still consider our actions and the way they represent us!
We are the authors of our own stories and what we write is what people will read.
From employers, to close friends and family, or even potential suitors, our record of actions always speaks the loudest.
We know it can be hard -- we definitely get it. Sometimes reputation can feel like a burden. It can feel like its entirely out of our control -- especially when we can't force people to view us the way we want them to.
It might seem easier to just say "whatever" and not bother about it. But, the thing is, just like a resume, your reputation can be managed and created by you! Sure, its hard because you can't fix the past or what people knew you to be; but, you can change and control your future -- regardless of how "bad" your past may be!
The decisions you make today, determine your tomorrow --- and by starting with little genuine steps each day, you can start to align who people think you are, with who you really are/ becoming.
One day, all we'll leave behind is the stories people tell about us; so, let your legacy be a good one. Be kind, be loving, and be the best version of yourself you can be! It's never too late to start becoming your best self!
Stay tuned for next week as we share tips on how to recover from a "bad reputation".