Teaching reputation: How to get recognition for your work

Does this sound like you or someone you know? You’re working hard, doing a good job, but you’re just not getting the recognition you deserve. Maybe you’ve spent years at the same level or in the same role. Or you’ve had several bosses and had to start over with each one.

Some people seem to get picked out of the crowd, but not you.

What can you do?

Teaching reputation

When I talk to people about their careers, their most common complaint is feeling stuck. They want more recognition and appreciation but have no idea how to get it. They want access to new and different opportunities but don’t know how to discover them.

So, as part of a course on “Building a purposeful social network”, we’re trying to teach people some new skills.

In the second of six sessions in the course, we focused on different ways to shape your reputation and build relationships.

5 ways to make your work more visible

We talked about the basics of networking, drawing on resources as diverse (and yet as similar) as Dale Carnegie and Keith Ferrazzi. And then we talked about the power of on-line channels to amplify your message.

We wanted to show how these channels make it easy for more people to recognize you - who you are, what you do, and how well you do it.

We picked 5 on-line channels, including an internal social collaboration platform we just launched, and asked “How effective is this tool in shaping your reputation?”

Then, we asked how often they used it (on a scale from 1 - 100).

Note the correlation.

People thought the most effective tools were the ones they used most often. Since everyone was most familiar with email - notably the most limited of the 5 tools in shaping reputation - they thought it was the most effective. Since 75% of the class never used Twitter, they thought it was the least effective.

A few hours later...

During the class, we walked through each of the tools and provided examples - from people inside and outside of the firm - of how people used the tools to shape their reputation and connect with other people who could help them.

Afterwards, we asked them again: “How effective is this tool in shaping your reputation?”

The perception improved for every single platform.

Just by providing relevant examples, we changed people’s familiarity with the tools and changed their view of their effectiveness. Scores for the new collaboration platform, for example, went up by 25%.

Learning (more) by doing

The first step in this class was aimed at increasing awareness. In the next class, everyone will use each of these channels and start building their purposeful social network while they develop some new skills.

We’ll help people use the new collaboration platform, freshen up LinkedIn profiles, and set up Twitter accounts. We’ll look for and subscribe to relevant blogs. And we’ll even revisit email styles.

Over time, they’ll become more comfortable with these channels, more active, and more proficient. And they'll gradually take more control over their reputation and career.

That's something everyone deserves. And something everyone can learn.