Transcript #139. How to maintain a positive professional reputation to achieve career success

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Your reputation is so important. You need to build a reputation for something that is specific, something that is crystal clear that you can do really, really well.

And it's not just about being liked by others. It's also about being trusted to do that job well. 

 Hello, Job hunters and career enthusiasts. And welcome back to the job hunting podcast. Or if you're new here. Welcome, we are delighted to have you and, please. If you like to subscribe to this podcast, wherever you find us, And give us a five-star rating, write us a review to let me know how much you've appreciated the podcast and also to pay it forward.

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But I sent it out on 8:00 AM, Tuesday mornings in Australia. And that includes the most recent episode of the job hunting podcast. So, you know, it's out and also. A curated list of articles that I find online and that I think are great reads because, gosh, there is so much better advice online for job hunters and people that are interested in advancing their careers.

Some of the things make me cringe. So whenever I find something that I think it's worth sharing, I share it with—the community. So sign up for that newsletter. You can find it on Renata bernardi.com forward-slash join. And then you can register to receive it.

You can go to my website; it's easy to register there. Or you can find the link in the episode and show notes if you don't know how to spell my name, which is absolute. So today, we're going to be talking about executive presence and how to prepare your executive presence for job interviews, job hunting, and career advancement. My goal is to always help you. Do really well in getting your next job, the next promotion, but also make sure that you understand all these things that you are learning now can definitely be recycled and used to propel your career and have the best career that you want to have in the future, leading you towards all of your goals.

So in this episode, We will focus on reputation and how important it is to manage your reputation, during your career trajectory. And it's one of the most important assets that you have is your reputation. What other people think of you, your workplace performance, and how you behave around.

Others will impact on. Their ability to consider you for promotions and for jobs when you're being interviewed. Because even if they don't know you as you're, well, now it's very easy to know about you these days. It has always been the case that reputation proceeds you. There's a quote, and there's a saying, and that's the reason why, but your character.

And what people say about you and how you are perceived in the community sees a lot about your competence, likeability, and credibility as a professional, for example, you know. It's not just for job hunters; you, these days, probably wouldn't visit a restaurant or book an Airbnb without consulting. The reviews and the comments of people that have been there and stayed there.

 You probably know this cause if you're following me and see my newsletters, you know that I've booked all of our Airbnbs. And we went to all of the restaurants that had very high ratings everywhere. We went to regional, new south Wales, and regional Victoria here in Australia.

And even the smallest cafes, you know, all, you want us to have a coffee in a small town, you can just Google it and find the one with the highest rating and go there. So. Of course, for people that are applying for jobs, this will also play a massive part in the decision-makers consideration when choosing the next person that they want to employ.

It's unlikely that anyone. That will hire you, be introduced to you, and so on; we'll do that without checking your formal references, but also anything else that they can find about you.

And if you're looking for a job and are currently transitioning, your network will play a massive part in recommending you to others and inviting you for coffees. Suppose making introductions, advocating for you, championing for you. So this is probably something that you need to think about. And long-term, and I don't want you to listen to this podcast and think, oh boy, you know, I've, haven't done anything yet.

And now here I am, without a job. There are ways around it. There are ways that you can. The job hunt now without having had all of this work done, but there's no place like now. And there's no time like now to start doing this so that you have better control of the outcome of your career in the future.

Right? So. Because you haven't done this before this amine, you shouldn't do this in the future. Listen to this podcast, and be humble about everything I'm going to say. And be very strategic from now on, on how you present yourself because people will advocate for you. And people want others to succeed.

 You may have had a bad experience. Maybe I know I've had quite a lot where you felt people weren't advocating for you. But one of the things that most surprised me whenever I was made redundant or left a job was how many people came to support me. And yes, I am fairly extroverted, and I do have a vast network.

And I've had to have a vast network because my background is in business development. And that means that I, you know, it's part of my job to build connections for my employers. And of course, when you're making connections for your employees, it happens that you build connections For you and you professionally. They become your connections as well as your employer's connection.

So when people found out I had left a job, a lot of people came and reached out to me to help and support me. Find out if I needed anything, and I go up many opportunities out of those connections. So make sure that you remember to work on that. And if you struggle with that in any way, reach out to me for consultation, and I can give you some tips and share with you some of my AP on how to make networking easier for everyone.

It's not just for extroverts; nothing annoys me more. Then searching for information online and finding a gazillion articles about how cringe-worthy networking is, and oh gosh, don't we all hate networking, but you have to do it. Oh, I, it gets me really upset because it's just connecting with. It's just about making sure that you listen to others, that you relate, and you engage in a meaningful way with other people around you.

And there is no reason why there needs to be this dichotomy between your personal life and your professional life. And you know, you're going to connect with your cousins and your high school friends and your. Long-term friends in a very meaningful way. And then everybody else at work, you are going to connect in a very detached, transactional way.

No, you know, they're all humans, they're all wonderful people, in all areas of your life and. That's why we just have a different name for it. And professionally, we call it a network, that is all. And, other than that, it shouldn't be any different. You should treat people coming into your life in a way that adds value to their life and yours.

So in many ways, what you want is to get as much. Five stars as you can get when you are connecting in a professional way at work, as a job seeker and bring a smile to people's faces, make sure that they like you, and they trust you I'd make that differentiation because. Trusting someone is more important than even liking someone.

You know, you really want to make sure that you're not only liked by the recruiter, but they trust you too, be a great candidate for their clients. Or if you're talking directly to their clients, that employer trusts you with their business. And I say this because sometimes you can be a very likable person, but if people don't have a feeling that you can be trusted with their business, they won't hire you.

I have lots of people I love, but I don't trust think about it in your life. Right? Like I love all of my friends, but would I go to business with them? Maybe not. And it's not only because I'm afraid of losing my friendship; it's because I don't think that. Good business people. They might be good at what they do.

They might be nurses. They might be financial advisors. They might be engineers, but they are not business people. Why would I, you know, sign up to have a business with somebody that doesn't have that experience? This is why your reputation is so important. You need to build a reputation for something that is specific, something that is crystal clear that you can do really, really well.

And it's not just about being liked by others. It's also about being trusted to do that job well. The truth is that this social proof holds weight, whether you're deciding where you're going to eat in a new city like I did when I was traveling, or you're tracking down references for a potential hire.

And when I say tracking down references, I'm not just saying the referees at the bottom of your resume. I'm also thinking about. All of the information that you have online about you and, Well, what people may say about you. If you're, for example, going for a promotion, I think it's really hard in a situation where you are going for a job in your current organization. You might be competing with an external candidate or many external candidates.

Because there is a lot more of your reputation at stake, does that make sense? Like a lot of people in your organization already have made up their minds about you, and that's why sometimes it can take a while for me to work with a client to get them to a stage where they're ready for promotion internally.

For example, I had a client I had been working with since 2019, and many bridges had been burned internally in the organization. And this client was incredibly passionate, incredibly skilled, and experienced and was really. He felt, and I felt, ready for more responsibilities, but the way that he had communicated that in the past hadn't been very positive.

And, you might relate to this, or maybe not. I know that a lot of my clients have a really big challenge dealing with office politics or when the power at B gets split in half, and they might have sided with the wrong side. And, the other side actually, you know, succeeded, and they may have had an advocate or a champion that has left the organization, for example, and that puts them in a very fragile situation in the business.

Have you been in that situation? I know that lots of my clients. And this was the scale with this client. And it took us a year. We worked together for a year to turn things around, and when there were actually quite a few, I think there were three job opportunities for him to move forward and be promoted.

And he had the support of his manager, and, you know, there was still a couple of things playing there, but he was going to get one of those three promotions for sure. He, in fact, got a job outside externally. And you know, it says a lot about how over that time, we were able to turn things around, but also it shows you how long it can take to turn things around.

And I will explain to you why now.  So I'm going to give you tips about—your reputation and how you can turn things around. Suppose you have neglected it for a while and also why it's essential to do so. First of all, your reputation will enhance oil. It will decrease. Gravitas is the way that you present yourself. That is a factor, right?

Because no matter how good your gravitas is, when you enter a job interview, walk into an important meeting to negotiate your salary, your promotion, and your reputation precedes you. People have already made up their minds either by what they saw on LinkedIn or if you have other open social media channels, you know, Twitter.

Facebook and so on. Or if you're in going for internal promotion, whatever you have said in the past 12, 18 months, we will also affect that presence in the room, right? People have already made up their minds. So this is the first thing that you need to consider. And if you want to IM understand morgue about gravity, please go to episode 82, where I discussed that a bit more in-depth.

The second thing is that people will have formed an opinion of you before meeting you. So, the points above I've discussed can enhance or decrease the opinion they will have.

So if people will have a formed opinion of you before they meet you, it's essential for you to manage your reputation as much as possible. And if you think about you as a professional, who brings. Revenue for your household. You're thinking about you as a structure, as an organization. So I liked to kind of make this, an emotional decision about, this part of your personal strategy because we do these things for the organizations we work for all the time and for.

For one reason or another, we neglect to do it for ourselves. So think about your connections since childhood, colleagues at work, bosses, clients, professors, and friends, and ask them, you know, to help you. We've. Reputation asks them what they think of you and how they would describe you. And I know it's awkward, and they might feel awkward, but explain to them that this is an important exercise that you really need to do to support your career development and see what you can learn from that.

The other thing that you need to consider is your online presence. I've discussed this before in other previous episodes, but LinkedIn, Facebook. It shows up on Google search Twitter, you know, every time I'm doing a LinkedIn audit, as you know, it's one of my services, or if you're new here, you probably don't know.

So check it out on my website, and I'll have a link in the episode. Show notes. When I do LinkedIn audits, I will tell you a secret. I actually look at everything that I can find about the person. I don't just do the LinkedIn audit. And if I find that there are things there that need to be managed on Facebook or Google search or Twitter, I let them know, look, you know, you have all these things here showing up on Google.

Did you know that if people Google your name, they are showing up? You know, sometimes I have found things that are inappropriate, and people may not have even searched their name. So they don't know. Or, you know, sometimes people may have very strong opinions about politics or something that's happening in the world, and they share it on Twitter.

But is it a good idea to do that when you're job searching? Probably not. So you have to be very good at managing how you're showing in this online world that we have today because everything is. And the third thing that I want you to consider and manage to the best of your ability is how you're showing up at work.

You know, the successes and your failures. It's okay to fail. We will fail a lot throughout our careers, but how do you manage that? And how do you overcome that? What you learn from it is an important thing that you need to learn to describe and build a narrative so that you show up confidently in interviews.

And if there is something in your career that you think needs to be addressed, or that could be brought up in an interview or a conversation that you really. Confident about your answer and that you know how to, to answer and to address it in a way that, you feel good about it and you, you know, that that's, you know, your truth and you know that that's going to resonate well with the listener as well.

And if you feel comfortable, learn as much as you can. Along the way, you know, ask for feedback as often as you can. It's. Complicated these days because my clients and my community tell me all the time that they're not getting good feedback anymore. And I understand that that's really frustrating if you're a job hunter. If you're going to interviews and frankly preparing a whole lot for those interviews and then never hearing back, it can be so frustrating.

But even if you don't hear anything back. Hindsight can be very helpful for you to kind of looking back, sort of do your own personal review of your situation at work. If it was something in your career that you, you feel you need to address now, or in a job interview, if it's something that, you know, a job that you wanted, you didn't get.

Is there something you can learn by reviewing in your mind, you know, the body language, your answers to the questions, how the? The engagement was doing those points times during the recruitment and selection process. Was there anything there that you think is telling you how it's going?

And I always tell my clients, and I'll tell you, trust your instinct. You know, our body sometimes can be very dumb and make us really fearful when all we're going to is a job interview or reacting to negatively to rejection. When all that happened is we didn't get a job we didn't have, but, Has been designed also to be react really instinctively to body language, to eye contact.

All these things are survival mechanisms that we have, and we've bypassed that with too much rationalization, in my view. If you had a little bit of an instinct that things didn't go well, you know, I remember I once went for a job interview. It was pretty recent. It was for an entering executive role.

It was with watermark, and the headhunters were very keen for me to go and talk to this client. They felt I was an excellent fit for what they had available, and off I went. And I was excited about the opportunity. As soon as I walked in, I felt a heaviness, cumbersome sort of energy in the room.

And I was interviewed by two people that were facing each other. And I was at the—corner of the table and. Frankly, I picked up that they basically didn't get along, and they were probably, and now I know they were probably at odds about the position and the need for that role to be available. And I walked out of the room, sat in my car, and I called.

Watermark. And I said, I just have this feeling that it went really wrong. And I just want you to know it wasn't my fault. It was just this really odd energy in the room. And my feeling is that these two people don't get along and they really disagree about the role. Am I right? And. You know, they told me that, yes, that that's right.

So it's not that easy to read the room, especially if you're so focused on your performance. And so focused on the answer is that you need to give, and frankly, I think I've developed that because I went to many interviews over my lifetime, and it just makes me a little bit more aware. So don't worry if.

I still don't have that, but maybe it's something that you can nurture and that you can train yourself to pick up so that if you don't get formal feedback, you at least know something that went wrong, and sometimes it's something you said. So I have noticed, at times, that I would answer a question.

And I would lose the audience. You know, I could tell that by losing eye contact, people looking down and making notes, and then I learned a few techniques to win them back, which is what I share when I do my coaching. 

 

Find me on social media and send me your ideas or sign up for my newsletter. Then you can reply and let me know what you're thinking. I'd love to hear back. All right. I will see you next week; bye. 

  
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