Your good reputation is something you should start to cultivate right out of the gate in your first job, and continue to build and protect throughout your career. The better your reputation, the easier it will be for you to move up and keep going in the direction of your dreams.
Here are 5 simple ways to building a great reputation at work so you can continue to cultivate your reputation and move up in the world.
1. Earn before you ask
You know you’re going to do good work and be an asset. You also know you’re going to need to ask for a favor now and then—some PTO, an extra privilege. Have a bit of patience and wait to ask for these perks until you’ve really proven yourself. Show your reliability and don’t ask for anything until you’ve earned it. Down the line, you’ll find you have much more leeway.
2. Take initiative
Tackle that big project without being asked to do so first. You won’t always get specific assignments, and you certainly won’t get graded feedback. Think beyond your immediate to-do list and figure out what you could do to help the company—and yourself grow. Sometimes this is as simple as cleaning out the supply closet and earning a few brownie points.
3. Be tactful
Even when you’re right, it’s best to couch your opinions with a bit of politicking and humility. Wait to bluster around until you’ve earned that position with battle-tested experience. At the beginning at least, be tactful and try not to come off as an insufferable know-it-all.
4. Keep work first with work friends
Some of your best adulthood friends will be friends you make in the workplace. But keep in mind that, at least while you work together, these are professional relationships first and foremost. Even if the company seems totally close-knit, don’t leap into intimate secret telling too quickly. Let it happen naturally. Keep your cards a bit closer to your chest until you’re on more solid ground.
5. Get it done
Asking for help and getting clarifying instructions from your supervisor is a great idea, particularly in your first few weeks, and particularly when you’re still learning the ropes. But after a certain amount of time, you need to learn when to just figure it out and get it done, rather than running to your boss. Remember, they hired you to do the job, not so they could hold your hand.