Behaviors that Tarnish Your Office Reputation – Part 2

Financial Planner, New York, NY
Capital Markets Analyst, Houston, TX
Investment Banker, Denver, CO
Brand Marketing Fellow, New York, NY
Corporate M&A Group Associate, Chicago, IL

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Welcome back to our next installment of reputation-tarnishing behaviors at work.  Last time we explored how being too assertive, overextending yourself, and failing to communicate with your boss can all have a negative impact on your status.  Read on for a few more behaviors to avoid if you’re trying to stay on everyone’s good side!

Lack of Coherency

It’s likely that at some point during your job you will have to share your work and progress with either your boss or your coworkers.  And while this may take some extra effort and energy on your part, it’s important to take the time to ensure that what you present to others is clear, logical, and legible.  A presentation that lacks these three factors can really frustrate others, and you may be forced to either rework what you did, spend a good amount of time explaining superfluous details, or have your work be disregarded altogether.  Presenting coherent, understandable work is a show of respect for your audience, so you should do your best to be as clear as possible.

Challenging Your Boss

At all times, no matter what, you should show respect for your boss.  This becomes particularly important when others are around, say, in a team meeting or even just around the office.  It’s okay to disagree with your boss, but set aside a time to do so in private.  If your boss happens to make a mistake in a meeting – and you feel that it’s important to point this out – either try to get the message to your boss discreetly or bring the matter up in as polite a way as possible.  Never try to challenge your boss in public, as this will likely cause you to be perceived as insubordinate.

Focusing Solely on Your Boss

While your relationship with your boss is crucial to your career, it’s important to also cultivate relationships with your coworkers.  These are the people with whom you will be working in teams, and perhaps more importantly, they’re the ones whom you will be working under (or above) when someone is promoted.  Don’t isolate yourself by ignoring your peers, and don’t be seen as a “brown noser” by focusing solely on your boss.  It’s imperative to be friendly with everyone and to be a team player.

Having No Reputation

One interesting point that many fail to consider is having no reputation.  While flying under the radar is certainly preferable to sticking out like a sore thumb, it’s still better to be in great standing at your place of work.  If you show up to work but remain unnoticed, you will likely miss out on many of the privileges afforded to hardworking, friendly, reliable employees.  Having no reputation does not mean that you are none of these things, it just means that you will have to put in a little extra work to be recognized as such.

That’s it for now on behavioral blunders to avoid at work.  As you can see, how you interact with both your coworkers and your boss is extremely important, and it’s worth putting in the extra effort so that people consider you a great component of the team!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Behaviors that Tarnish Your Office Reputation – Part 1

Entry Level Treasury Analyst, San Diego, CA
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Associate, New York, NY

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Maintaining a good reputation at work is a delicate balance.  Because business is business, and there is usually a lot of stress circulating around an office, people are quicker to judge and slower to forgive.  That’s why it’s important to get off to a solid start and do what you can to remain in the good graces of both your superiors and your coworkers.  Here are a few behaviors to avoid:

Asserting Yourself as the New Guy

When you’re the new guy, it can be tempting to want to enter with a bang, but sometimes this can be a huge turnoff.  If you start off trying to revolutionize things too quickly, people might become offended about the fact that you’re trying to change everything around, and put you back in your place.  While you may have the best of intentions, try to hold back just a little bit, adding your two cents when it seems natural or when you are asked – not when you have to fight to get a word in.  When you first get to a company, take some time to learn what they are about and what they are trying to do, and this will likely enable you to contribute in a more valuable way.  After all, you may feel that you have some very enlightened observations to provide, but these may have already been observed previously (possibly more than once), and broaching the same topic all over again will just make everyone feel like you’re beating a dead horse.

Overextending Yourself

Many people feel that they will actually build a greater reputation by being a “Yes Man”.  Indeed, all companies value reliable employees.  But if you get to the point where you are saying “yes” to everything, you may reach a point where the quality of all of your work suffers, or you may find yourself unable to get to certain projects at all.  It’s important to learn what you can and cannot do, and to budget your time wisely.  It’s perfectly fine to explain to your boss that you simply have too much on your plate to take on another project at the moment – he or she will likely respect you for this.

Failing to Check In

Your boss manages a lot of people, and by extension, manages a lot of projects.  He has a lot on his plate, and so you figure you’ll spare him the headache by getting your work done first and then running it by him.  But this can be a huge mistake.  If you’re working on a big project, it’s probably a good idea to update your boss on your progress and allow him to offer feedback.  Managers like to feel that they are a part of the work, and may become aggravated when you try to run off with it on your own.  Additionally, when you fail to check in and end up doing something incorrectly, you’ll create more work for yourself and irritate your boss even more.

As you can see, much of maintaining a good reputation at work relies on learning how to communicate well – and this means being able to talk as well as listen.  So avoid the above pitfalls, and stay tuned for our next installment of behaviors that have the propensity to ruin an individual’s work reputation!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

How to Leave a Job on a Good Note

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Saying “sayonara” to a job can be a tearful transition or the greatest day of your life.  But no matter what your thoughts are on leaving your job, it’s important that you leave on a good note.  Here are a few things you can do to ensure a tactful farewell:

Give Appropriate Notice

Make sure that you give at least the standard two weeks notice when you are resigning your post.  Quitting in a huff may feel like the right thing to do in the moment, but it will come back to haunt you in the future – there’s no need to burn any bridges or risk having a former bitter boss badmouth you to a hiring manager.  If you can give more than two weeks notice, that’s great, and only leaves more time for the company to take the necessary steps to ensure a smooth transition on their end.

Write Thank You Notes

It’s a nice touch to write thank you notes to people such as your boss, peers you worked closely with, and others who made an impact on you at your job.  These are the people you spent every day with, collaborating on projects together and learning from.  Thank them for what they taught you and for the time you spent together – they’ll really appreciate the gesture and will be excited to see you succeed in the next phase of your career.

Tie Up Loose Ends

In your remaining time at a company, make sure to work hard through your end date.  While it may be tempting to slack off given the lack of immediate repercussions, it demonstrates that you don’t care and can tarnish your office reputation.  Do what you can to finish up projects, hand off remaining work to other individuals, and help set up the person who will be replacing you.  If you can, offer to train your replacement.

Celebrate

Do something on your last day to mark your farewell to the company – and to the individuals with whom you spent so much time during your days there.  Go out to lunch, bring in cupcakes, make a toast… do something to recognize that you appreciate the people around you and are leaving on good terms.  That way, your farewell will feel more like a celebration of your time there, rather than like an awkward goodbye.

Some of us just hate goodbyes, but don’t let your distaste for them leave a bad taste in your company’s mouth.  Follow the proper etiquette, be gracious, and have a little fun, and you’ll be sure to make a grand exit!

Hasta la vista, baby!!

The Doostang Team