Building a Strong Reputation at Work

Your reputation is one of the most important factors for success in the workplace. It is even more important when you are a new hire...

Your reputation is one of the most important factors for success in the workplace. It is even more important when you are a new hire at a place and you do not already have well known antecedents to speak for you.

However, the lack of a strong reputation or remarkable antecedents shouldn’t worry you when you start at a new place, you can build both by adapting the following tips:

Earn Respect before a Special Request

As a new employee you would have to pay dues before you can ask for those extra privileges. Dues of course doesn’t always mean money, and in this case it means to adhere to company policies and endear yourself to your boss. It is after you have done the above that you can ask for flexibility as you would have proved the worth of keeping you content. So, if your working hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., make sure you are at your desk at those hours. Down the road, after you have demonstrated your reliability and value to your boss, you may be able to negotiate more flexibility in your arrival and departure times or lunch hour or take a vacation before you are technically due for one.


Tackle Something without Being Asked

One of the best ways to gain the gratitude of your supervisor is by showing initiative. So many people get into a new job and think their supervisors are going to say, ‘this is exactly what I expect you to do,’ but this isn’t school where you get clear-cut homework and assignments. You often have to discern what you have to do, where you can be of help and how you can improve on what’s already on ground.

Take on projects everyone else is avoiding, put in a few extra minutes each day so your pet project doesn’t interfere with your primary responsibilities. After you are done, you would have won the admiration from your boss and your coworkers’ gratitude.

Offer Opinions with Tact

You have been hired because your boss and others at the company saw potential in you and your skills, so your opinion is valuable to the organization’s growth and future. However, remember to offer it gently and with respect. “Blurting out things as if you are a seasoned consultant isn’t the best approach. It’s great that you have a fresh perspective, but you need to present it in the right way.” Suggesting a new process rather than questioning a current one highlights your forward thinking without insulting your boss’s or the company’s approach. “You don’t want to come off as a know-it-all,”


It’s Business, Not Personal

Work friends can become some of your best friends, in and out of the office but you need to remember that these are professional relationships first. Even if you work for a hip company where fun is a part of the company culture you still need to keep it professional.

If you are invited out to lunch or an after-work drink, don’t overindulge in alcohol and don’t overshare. You have to be smart, If you don’t want other people to know about it, don’t do or say it.” Over time you will learn a lot about your coworkers and vice versa, but it will happen organically.


Figure It Out

It’s important to ask a lot of questions when you are new to any job, and your boss understands that. But don’t pester her with queries all day long. You have to know when you need to go to your boss and when you don’t, they are really busy and can’t always hold your hand.

As a new employee, you need to learn to work independently of your supervisor’s guidance. It’s advisable to reach out to other key people related to your job and get to know them. Your supervisor will appreciate the fact that you have figured out how things work and that you have begun to build relationships throughout the company. You don’t want to keep falling back on the fact that you are new because that gets old.


It takes a long time to build a reputation but few minutes to destroy it. Keep these tips for building your reputation in your mind and you will be on your way to succeed in the workplace.