The lesson on the importance of reputation is a lesson that everyone learns over time. Those who can learn it at the expense of someone else tend to be the most successful people, regardless of their chosen career.
But few people actually learn it at the expense of someone else. They see the consequences of other people damaging their reputation but never consider the frailty of their own. So they learn at their own expense when they do something similar. It is then that they also discover that the cost is often huge.
Your reputation is the most valuable currency you have in business and in life. It can unlock doors not even seen by some people. It can also lock those doors tighter than Fort Knox.
We live in a time where everything is recorded and documented forever.
It’s a mistake to believe that because you didn’t post something to Social Media that no one else would either. It’s become nearly impossible to even walk to your car without being caught on a nearby camera. The words and images you post are forever. They might be hilarious after a half dozen beers but could turn deadly serious the next morning.
You must realize that the friendly Human Resource person you’re interviewing with tomorrow is very likely to be looking at your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages today. You would never tattoo your face with the words “I’m a drunk” on your forehead because that could be seen by everyone. But when you post the pictures of your latest drunk-fest online it’s not much different.
That kind of post might only offend one person but if it’s the wrong one then that’s a problem. I know it’s all in fun but if it comes at the expense of your reputation is it worth it? Keep the pictures on your phone and show them off privately. Remember, even texting them to friends means you no longer have full control of your reputation. Always be careful.
The fact that your reputation is priceless is best learned before you lose it. Despite what others may tell you I do believe that even a badly battered reputation can be restored. It’s just that the more damaged it is the longer it takes to repair it. A moment or two of carelessness could potentially take years to reverse.
A slip of the tongue or one ill conceived mouse click can have long lasting ramifications. Think BEFORE you say it, think twice BEFORE you hit post and never ever, not even for a moment, lose awareness of the value of an honorable reputation.