1. Decide what “being your best” looks like … eg. perhaps you want to be seen as a professional, accomplished, career oriented employee.
“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear” … Socrates. (Clearly this is not a new concept!)
2. Ensure that your actions always support that “brand” … so that others will associate your actions to the type of person you want to be. The following might be examples that support the “professional, accomplished, career oriented” brand.
a. Dress professionally;
b . Invest in training … always be learning;
c. Take on more responsibility;
d. Always take accountability … do not look for excuses;
e. Be a cheerleader at work … glass half full attitude;
f. Look after your health … stay relatively fit (don’t need to be an athlete); eat (relatively) healthy (don’t need to be a model);
g. Look for ways to give back … to charities, to the industry, to colleagues;
h. Be a team player.
3. Ensure that any actions of yours do NOT upset that image. Following the same concept, that you want to cultivate the “professional, accomplished, career oriented” brand … here are some don’ts!
a. Don’t use abusive language in the workplace … especially never in writing.
b. Don’t let your communication style be “un-business like” … you may use IM shorthand with your friends, but business communication should be understandable to everyone;
c. Casual work days should not mean ratty jeans and well worn sweat shirts … adopt a smart casual approach (always dress just a little better than you need to);
d. If you write “stuff” outside of work (blogs, facebook posts, articles etc) you might want to be sure that if your boss read them they would not raise their eyebrows;
e. Don’t compromise your own principles … work somewhere that has your kind of principles;
f. Don’t let your personal life encroach unduly into work … its OK to be proud of your kids, but most co-workers don’t need a blow by blow of their lives, they certainly don’t want to be dragged into your personal “dramas”.
Some other thoughts on this subject …
1. I wrote a blog entry called Create and Protect Your Image about three years ago.
2. Accountability is one of the biggest areas that people can differentiate themselves … this blog entry references a story from Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence.
3. I wrote a blog entry called Be True to Yourself back in April, that was designed to make you think about this stuff.
5. Read a book on the subject … maybe the brand called You by Peter Montoya.
Many of you will have some time over the holidays away from work, relaxing and recharging the batteries. Take a few minutes to think about how you can set yourself up to have a GREAT year in 2012. Consider (a) what you can do to position yourself for success and (b) what you can avoid (or stop doing) that might be hurting your chances for success.
Have a Wonderful Holiday Season and I wish you all every success in 2012!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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