This article was originally published on ComeRecommended.com.
In the professional world, your reputation is everything. Building your rep can be challenging, so it’s important to avoid any behaviors that would ruin what you’ve worked for.
Here are five ways to ruin your professional reputation:
Regularly missing deadlines. One of the easiest ways to damage your reputation is to miss deadlines on a regular basis. Deadlines are set because other people are depending on you to complete your work. Beyond your work, this also goes for any other commitments you make. The basic principle in any workplace is to get your work done on time. You learn this in elementary school. Don’t start being late now. You’ll be labeled unaccountable.
Being unprepared. Coming to work or meetings unprepared makes you look extremely unprofessional. This means not doing your research, not having the right notes or supplies, not understanding assignments, and anything else along these lines. Lack of preparation makes you look like you don’t care about your job, which can seriously damage your rep. No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t care.
Not communicating. In today’s workplace, technology has made it necessary for communication to be virtually instantaneous. It is unprofessional to ignore or put off responding to emails. Co-workers will assume you’re ignoring them on purpose. Live by the 24-hour rule of communication. Respond within 24 hours of receiving a message, even if it’s to say you’ll get back to them at a later time. Communicating quickly is an easy way to avoid damage to your reputation.
Making excuses. Beyond missing deadlines, being unprepared, and not communicating, you can ruin your rep even further by making up excuses for your shortcomings. The employee who does not accept responsibility for their unprofessional behavior looks even worse than the employee who does. If you do mess up (and everyone does from time to time), accept the blame, apologize, and move on.
Focusing too much on the future. Preparing for the future sounds like it should be a good thing, right? But workers who become more focused long-term goals and less focused on their current job can damage their rep. While it’s good to have dreams about where your career is headed, it’s important to place most of your attention on the job you already have. If you do your job well, advancement will come naturally.
It’s really easy to damage your professional reputation. If you slip into bad habits, you can lose the respect of co-workers and managers. These people are essential to having a solid rep, which is ideal if you want to advance down the line.
What are some other ways you can ruin your professional reputation?