Your personal brand follows you around like a loyal canine – in your job search, online, at home, and even at work. In fact, are you even aware of how you’re branding yourself at work? The wrong brand can hurt your career (it can even send you into a major career rut), so it’s important to know how people might be perceiving you in the workplace. Does any of this sound like you?
You’re the go-to (for everything).
Are you the “yes” man/woman at your office? Are you the person people go to when they need to unload work? If you say “yes” to everything that’s asked of you, there’s a good chance you’re going to burn yourself out. Do you really have time to do Susan’s extra paperwork this weekend? Do you really have bandwidth to bake cookies for everyone on Friday? While there’s some stuff you’re expected to do, especially when you’re an office newbie, be more conscious of what you say “yes” to at the office.
You’re the “minimum requirements only” person.
Are you in right at 9am and out the door on the dot at 5pm? Do you avoid volunteering for projects because “it’s not your job”? While you don’t want to necessarily accept everything people ask of you, if you don’t make an effort once and awhile to go above and beyond, you risk looking lazy to your boss, colleagues, and clients. Branding yourself at work this way, even if you don’t mean to do it, can hold you back from promotions and can even put you on the short list for layoffs.
You’re the one who “doesn’t have time for this s#!$%.”
Are you always on your phone during meetings? Do you find yourself half-listening during conversations? You might have a lot going on, but not being present when people are speaking to you is disrespectful and rude. This can result in resentment and frustration from your co-workers. Also, if you’re not fully listening during meetings, you could miss important information you need to complete projects.
You’re the needy colleague.
Are you always going to your co-workers for help without trying to figure it out on your own first? While it’s great to ask questions, it’s just as important to try and figure certain things out on your own. Otherwise, you risk irritating those around you and appearing incapable of doing your job.
You’re the office gossip.
Do you constantly chat with your co-workers about office drama? Branding yourself at work as the office gossip will discourage people from confiding in you and you risk being left out of important conversations/decisions. Further, no one wants to be tied up in drama at work – it’s not a good look.
You’re the overly-apologetic-for-no-reason person.
Are you always apologizing for things that aren’t your fault? If you’re regularly saying “I’m sorry” to people at work, you’re either doing something very wrong or you’re just overly apologetic. To be honest, someone who apologizes too often can be just annoying, if not more annoying, than someone who doesn’t apologize at all. Most of us (including me) are guilty of doing this. There’s a fine line between taking responsibility when things go wrong and apologizing for things that aren’t your fault (or just going overboard with your apology). Plus, if you do it too much, people will stop taking you seriously.
You’re the finger pointer.
Now, let’s talk about the opposite side of the spectrum. Do you constantly make excuses when things don’t go right? Do you blame others when things go wrong? This behavior, for obvious reasons, is going to get you in trouble at work.
You’re the cocky co-worker.
Are you always bragging about your accomplishments? Are you the one who constantly boasts things like, “I can do everyone’s job SO much better”? Confidence is important, but if you’re just being cocky for the sake of it, you’re going to aggravate your co-workers to no end. Having this attitude can cause unnecessary rifts in the office, hurting the team dynamic. Not only that, you just look like a jerk.
You’re the Debbie Downer.
Do you find yourself constantly bringing people down with your negativity? No one likes a Debbie Downer, and people don’t want to work with one either. Stop bringing your drama to work and try to be more positive. Don’t kill good opportunities with bad vibes.
Succeeding in the office requires you to balance all of these workplace personas. Sure, you don’t want to take on too much, but you don’t want to look lazy either. Take a minute to think about how you’re branding yourself at work, and if it’s how you’d like to be perceived.
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