The Lawyers Career Blog

Managing Your Reputation

Have you ever thought about your reputation and how it might impact your career?

Is there a correlation between a positive reputation and your ability to secure the assignments, cases/deals and the career advancement you want?

What constitutes a reputation?

According to the Marion Webster Dictionary reputation is defined as follows:

1 a : overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general b : recognition by other people of some characteristic or ability <has the reputation of being clever>

2 : a place in public esteem or regard : good name <trying to protect his reputation>

What might you want to look at when assessing your reputation?

WHO:

Ask colleagues and peers for feedback on your reputation. What do they observe or have they observed about your performance? Can they give specific examples of skills/attributes based on cases or transactions you may have worked on together? Assess your reputation as it exists today. What might you want it to look like in the future?

WHAT:

Next you want to ask clients (internal or external) to give feedback on specific assignments you have completed for them. Were the assignments completed thoroughly, on time and accurately? Would they recommend your work to other clients? If so what would be your strengths and weaknesses. If they wouldn’t recommend your work, what are they basing their decision on? What outcomes would they want to be different?

The more specific the feedback, the more tangible the information is for you.

WHERE:

The more private and quiet the setting the more likely you are to receive quality, constructive feedback on your reputation or on a particular case/deal.

WHEN:

Timely feedback will help with the quality of the feedback. If you want feedback on your reputation, set aside a time when you are least likely to be interrupted. If you are looking for specific feedback on skills, competencies or traits asking for feedback close in time to demonstrating those behaviors or qualities will be helpful.

It is helpful to inventory and assess yourself today and about every six months to a year as you move forward with your career.

TIPS for Managing Your Reputation

The first time you ask for feedback, you may not receive it. Keep asking, it may take several inquiries before your audience trusts that you are genuine in your interest for feedback.

Ask professionals to give you feedback on the “what” (behavior) rather than the “how” (style). Behaviors are measureable and can be readily changed. Personalities are more personal and may not be as flexible.


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