Browsing the blog archives for May, 2010.

First Aid for a Damaged Reputation

Career Challenges, Org savvy
Alright, you hit a rocky spot in your career. But you followed the steps for either active career bounce back or passive career bounce back. You have the situation stabilized. The immediate danger is over. You take a deep breath, look around and realize that the crisis is over but your reputation still has a black mark. What now?
Here are some steps to consider to give first aid to your damaged reputation. Some of them are similar to the bounce back advice. The difference is that these actions are not about crisis management, they are about fixing your ongoing reputation.
1. Accept responsibility – As with earlier advice, accept responsibility for what went wrong. If you run from the problem, your co-workers won’t trust you.

2. Be humble but don’t over apologize – Be humble and apologize where needed. But here is a warning – don’t over apologize. Don’t repeated apologize for the same issue or offer to “pay penance” over and over. Focus on moving into the future. If you constantly dwell on your past mistakes, it makes you look weak. Don’t let your mistake define you going forward.

3. Express commitment to doing things right – Make sure that coworkers whose work depends on your work know that you are committed to doing the right things. You’ve fixed the previous problem and have put structure or processes in place to prevent future occurrences. Don’t assume that everyone knows what you have done to fix the situation, make a point of telling them.

4. Do things right – This is key advice. You can’t just commit do doing things right, you have to follow through. You need to do your work well and do it consistently and ongoing. If you can’t sustain the initial improvement, then you might need to consider that the job is not a good fit for you.

5. Rebuild relationships – Don’t just fix the problem and the process. Pay attention to re-building relationships. Once lost, trust is hard to regain. Sustained improvement in your performance will help rebuild trust.

 

 

 

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5 Steps to Passive Career Bounce Back

Career Challenges, Geek 5, Org savvy

In the last post, we covered crisis management – responding to a specific, negative career event. There are also Career Bounce Back strategies for passive issues. In this case, a legacy of passive problems like having no visibility or being underestimated have added up to a career setback. Here are five steps for passive Career Bounce Back:

1. Accept where you are – Let the past go. Don’t waste a lot of time mourning the fact that you have arrived at a bad spot. Be honest with yourself and where you currently stand.

2. Diagnose what happened – Although you shouldn’t dwell on your state (see step 1), you do need to diagnose the behavior that got you to this point. What have you done or not done in the past? Think about specific actions and behaviors – you can change behaviors. For more tips about diagnosing the problem, check out previous posts about under-political behavior.

3. Seek input from key influencers – have a future focus not a blame focus. Ask co-workers and key stakeholders to give feedback on your strengths and opportunities. What could you have done differently to be more successful in the past? Don’t be defensive about the past, be open to feedback for the future.

4. Develop a plan – create a thoughtful approach to overcoming your career setback. Focus on behaviors that you can control. It may need to be a multi-step plan that plays out over time.

5. Be transparent about intentions – let your coworkers know that you are working on some changes to your style/ behavior. That warning will prepare them for changes. It will also put them in a good position to continue giving feedback and support.

Hopefully these five steps will get you back on track to a healthy career. Don’t expect to fix everything overnight. After all, it took you time to get here and it will take time for your Career Bounce Back.

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