In our mother's generation, all a woman had to worry about was whether she was perceived as "a nice girl" or a "bad girl." Back in the day, a "Reputation" meant something exceedingly nasty, and was to be vigorously avoided. Today, though, if you don't have a Reputation, you're going nowhere fast--and nothing is easy.
In today's hyper modern society, where everything everyone ever wanted to know about you is online, if you live and breathe, you have a Reputation for something. So you have a choice. Either you gear your actions and behavior to shape what other people think and say about you, or you take your chances and let people brand you as they will, accurate or not. Honey, your Reputation is your most important career asset, bar none.
The worst thing you can do is let the people you encounter out there in the world think a whole bunch of random nothings that adds up to a hodgepodge we like to call a Mashed Tofu Reputation--lumpy and unmemorable. A good Reputation will get you U-P, a bad Reputation will get you O-U-T, and you may never get back I-N--anywhere. So before the year closes here are some helpful tips to ensure your best foot is pushed forward and your colleagues, bosses and clients are saying to themselves, "what a thoughtful and great person."
Send holiday greetings. A hand written sincere thank you card to your best customers, employees, bosses, partners, and potential future clients will go a long way. If you can afford it, send either a box of chocolate covered pretzels or bottle of fantastic olive oil. Both items are my personal favorites. It is the thought that counts and demonstrates you have gone the extra mile.
Write an end of year blog. Title it "Lessons Learned from 2015." Sharing in writing what you have learned with your "tribe" showcases you are human and are aware of your daily actions. If you haven't started a blog, now is a great time to start. Use names and mention the solid work you have completed or highlight the time you have donated to certain organizations. It is a humblebrag that helps us understand more about you, what you stand for, and what work you're proud to have accomplished and learned from in the last year.
Create a vision board. Purchase a cork board and put in your office. Write a list of your top three goals for 2016 and pin them to the board. Attach images from magazines or from online that will well help you make this vision a reality. Look and add to it often, and see your goals come to fruition. Know you will get that corner office if you want it or jump start that idea that's been lingering in your head for months. Visions boards work. Ask any celebrity.
The more people see and hear your name, the quicker you will build a kick-ass Reputation that's a bit more 5-Star, 3 Course Rave Review and bit less Mashed Tofu Casserole.