Professional Reputation Management: Part Three

  • Posted by Steve Goldberg
  • |
  • June 11, 2015
Reputation Management

Over the past couple of months, we’ve discussed different behaviors around the office, including the importance of your soft skills and the significant impact they can have on your professional reputation with your colleagues. In our third and final installment on Professional Reputation Management, we’ll discuss the impacts of out-of-office behaviors, and some often overlooked conduct and/or activities that can have a significant influence on how you are perceived professionally both positively and negatively.

Be Engaged

Be engaged with your local community and/or your professional community. Many digital companies make it part of their culture and values to get involved.

A great example is the annual “Bowling for Breastcancer.org” held at Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge in Manhattan.  The money raised helps to fund thecharity and the expansion of programs like their Spanish translation and Global Breast Cancer Prevention initiatives as well as enhancements to Breastcancer.org’s online content, mobile optimization, and video programming.

Another wonderful example of getting involved in your professional community is volunteering for organizations like AWNY (Advertising Women of New York).  Founded in 1912, Advertising Women of New York’s (AWNY) mission is to empower women in our industry to achieve personal and professional fulfillment at each stage of their careers.  Another great example is volunteering for 212NYC, a non-profit organization with the mission of creating a forum for members to make connections, share insights and support the digital advertising community through education, programming and philanthropy.

If you’re not the type of person who enjoys volunteering, and often avoids going the extra mile to give back, you may be out-of-step with your company’s values, which will eventually be noticed.   Even if your company does not highlight this kind of participation, it is excellent for your reputation and career to stand out from the crowd with these kinds of activities – and it makes a difference, so what can be bad?

When Happy Hour Becomes Sloppy Hour

Drinking with your manager, specifically in the digital media world, is often times used as a team bonding experience—you go to happy hour with the boss and you start to mix business with pleasure. (This also applies with going out as the manager with your staff.)  It usually starts with one or two drinks, and then sometimes if the vibe is right, someone introduces shots to the mix. While participating is great, and is often a way to get to know your team, and become closer, it’s imperative to know your limits and the Part time flexi jobs are much more common recently and there are even specialist agencies who can help you find your dream role with some effort.

While other people may be drinking more, that does not mean you have to match pace. Being known as the person who, “gets wasted” and “can’t handle themselves” is never a good idea. This kind of reputation can surprisingly cast doubt on your judgment and overall ability to interface with clients.

“Dress For Success”

Work-appropriate attire has certainly changed in recent decades. Gone are the days where a suit and tie is necessary (for digital media and media technology), but how casual is too casual, and what kind of impact can it have on your reputation?

Dressing for success is an often overlooked and undervalued aspect of one’s reputation. Your appearance is the first point of contact with anyone, before the handshake, before the greeting, and it’s often one of the most impactful.   How you dress is part of your personal “brand”.

Despite the casual aspects of most digital enterprises, there is a time and a place where dressing a little more formal may have a big effect. For instance, you should always consider matching the environment you’re in. If you’re having an in-person meeting with a conservative client, your typical everyday casual wear won’t cut it.  On the other hand, if your company is very lax in its dress code, know the boundaries. Don’t be the one to show up in shorts, because you saw the CEO wearing them one day.