How Your Coworkers’ Perceptions Affect Your Career
I often talk about the fact that other people’s perceptions of us are, unfortunately, more important than our intentions. Today, I want to discuss the impact of those perceptions on your career.
The truth of the matter is that your inner intentions are not known to the outside world — unless you make an outward gesture. Even then, however, people can’t see into your mind. How they perceive you and your gestures is based only on what they can see as an outsider.
You may be going through a tough time or be loaded with mountains of work, but unless you communicate this fact, your coworkers and/or mangers will only see that you are not being productive.
When it comes to your intentions in a situation or your coworkers’ perceptions, more often than not, your coworkers’ perception of the situation will greatly affect your reputation, much more than your own intentions.
Think of it this way: Have you ever told someone that you would meet a deadline, or that you would send over the necessary information right away — but then you got caught up in something else? It happens to the best of us.
However, to the person waiting on the other end for that information, this is extremely frustrating. In their eyes, you simply have not fulfilled a promise, or you are not getting your work done on time. In that moment, while they are waiting and depending on you to continue the work that they need to get done, your side of the story does not matter. What matters to them is that you are slacking (or that they perceive you to be slacking).
Now, we all know that there are emergencies or certain tasks that take priority. However, making a habit of this — or getting yourself into this sort of situation when you are first starting to work with someone — can heavily tarnish your reputation.
Do your best to keep others pleased, and they will (hopefully) return the favor. Remember all those group projects in school, when you hated your other teammates for not coming through? This is still an awful reality for a lot of people in the workforce, and you don’t want to be that person.
How to Keep Your Reputation In Taci
Communicate! It’s that simple.
No matter how high up the ladder or stone-faced someone may seem, we are all human. Everyone understands that different tasks take priority, and new obligations come up. If you do get stuck and find yourself in this situation, make sure to communicate!
Letting your work partner know that you need to take care of something else before getting their task done will almost always benefit you more than simply putting the task off and sending your work over late. Communicate your intentions, and you will enable your coworkers to focus on another aspect of work. That way, they don’t have to wait around for you and grow increasingly frustrated.
You may be going through a lot, both personally and professionally. As hard as it may seem, you need to do your best to focus on the tasks that need to get done. If you are struggling, communicate this to your coworkers and managers so they are aware of the situation.
How other people perceive your work ethic and time management skills can affect your entire career. The bottom line is that others may view the work as much more important than everything going on in your world, so letting them know your estimated timeline and explaining why you have given them this estimate is essential.
If you don’t communicate why you are not being as productive as normal, all others will have to make conjectures off of is the work you present. This can be a hard concept to grasp, but the sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to gain the respect and reputation you want in your career!
When it comes down to your perception of the situation or your coworkers’, remember that their perception is what will affect your reputation.