Reputation is very important in life, because it is not just one aspect of our personality, it is made up of all the aspects of our personality. It means that, because of our reputation, people are already familiar with us, even without having been formally familiarised to us.

Likewise, we should continue to surpass the good things that others come to know about us, and if bad, to change them -if we can – and in some of the cases all of us can to some good extent. But always be at peace with yourself, failing which you will be seeing your Physician in patches.

It takes over two decades to build a reputation, and less than five minutes to ruin it. If you are conscious about that, you’ll do things consciously, positively, a little differently and in succession.

Your reputation travels faster than you:

Most of us know the phrase, “our reputation precedes us.” I have always understood it to mean that – when someone is moving to a new job-people will already know of that person by reputation, will have heard what you are like. You won’t be there completely unknown.

It means that what you have said or done, or what has been said about you [ right and wrong both], is available for public notice and has come to the attention of the person now speaking to you. This can be good, or it can be bad. And it means that the person now speaking to you has already formed an impression of you before you even met that person.

Some people are always on a faultfinding-mission:

I hated that, because it made it very difficult for me, to get off on a sound footing -while on a new job/posting. These people were always looking for a reason to remonstrate me before I had even done anything wrong. When I became experienced on this shoddy behaviour, slowly I became primed to it.

According to my parents, it could only take one bad decision to ruin the way, those who respected me, thought of me. It was important to represent myself well, I was repeatedly told, because I in turn represented my parents, my siblings, my teachers, my coaches, and my employer[s]. My parents wanted me to be a respected member in my community, and I was fortunate enough that no one ever took that away from me.

Reputation is one of, if not the most important thing, an individual has:

Let me tell you a little bit about how I grew up. I was raised in a conservative middleclass home, where my parents always made sure that I was representing myself well. So, I was allowed going out and partying, only with friends, with people who shared my family values.

There is one school of thought that highly recommend to genuinely try to be who you are, say what you honestly feel inside because those who mind does not matter and those who matter does not mind.

My rev. father explained to me when I was 16 years young that the real world was unfair, and that I would always have to prove myself worthy of grabbing the opportunities available down the lane.

Over a considerable period of time I learnt that it doesn’t matter what other people think of you. That we need to only worry about the opinions of those you care about, e.g. your family, your best friends, and your significant other(s). You can’t live life walking on egg shells trying to prove yourself to everyone. If you know you’re a good person, that is all that matters.

You can be a professional in the workplace and still be able to do whatever you want without an issue. But it may not get the nod of the society. Some do dare to swim against the tide.

In the real world, perception is valued over reality:

You can be the kindest and most positive person in the world, but if you make one bad decision, everyone will label you for that mistake. If you decide to be mean to a colleague, don’t be surprised when someone else who has observed this doesn’t want to be your friend. You cannot go through life solely concerned with what only you think or know to be true.

A good reputation shouldn’t be an end in itself but rather a natural outgrowth of your striving to be the person you most want to be. Conversely, always remember that feedback need not necessarily be positive all the time. Why? Because, people have difference of opinion on various issues and every difference of opinion must be respected.

Social media now a days provide wings to information right or wrong at a great speed:

Always remember that life is a huge networking opportunity. Nothing good ever comes easily, and if you want to be respected, respect yourself enough to say no and make the decisions necessary to take you there. Safe guard yourself, and make sure your character is translated to your reputation. What goes around comes around, so make sure that everything that you do is exactly what you want people to know about you.

Our reputation represents the way others look at us:

It is critically important. However, because even those of us with resilient self-esteem live in a great social network and need a good reputation for practical purposes—though friendship and income chief among them. It’s hard to have friends if people think you’re mean-spirited and very hard to make a living in any capacity if people think you’re lazy, unreliable, or dishonest.

Our reputation is a tool, then—not, hopefully, for creating or maintaining our self-esteem but for practical navigation through activities of daily life. Though a good one smoothing out the journey somewhat, a bad one causing doors to slam in our face and testing our confidence in ourselves.

Let’s face it, we all have had negative feedback:

In real life or online, negative feedback happens in a routine way. As per experts listen to the feedback. You don’t need to feed the trolls but you definitely can take the opportunity to sincerely hear what the feedback is and evaluate if it’s something you can gain and grow from it or just ignore it.

Social media is influencing our reputations lately:

In today’s social-media-dominated culture, adults spend a lot of time crafting and curating their reputations, virtually and offline. New research suggests that even children do the same thing in real life, too — potentially as early as at age 5.

Children start caring about their reputations in Kindergarten:

It really does seem to be that around age 5, we, the human beings, start to engage in behaviors that require certain kinds of problemsolving. As per a research, understanding how and when kids begin to develop these skills may offer insight to parents, educators and policymakers

How to build good reputation:

As all of you clearly understand that, it is indeed harder to build a reputation than to destroy it. Building a good reputation requires effort, patience, and plenty of time. Destroying a good reputation only requires a single moment’s wrong step.

The secret to building a good reputation is to try to become a person who really deserves one. Take consistent action that exemplifies the characteristics you want others to associate with you. Don’t just mouth the platitudes of hard work, attention to detail, loyalty, and drive—live them. In fact, do not praise yourself. Let others discover them in you.

The benefits of a good reputation are:

• A good reputation can come to your rescue when other members of your network rise to your defense without your even knowing it.

• Sometimes you may not feel like you deserve your reputation, that’s it’s better than you are. Rather than wailing your weaknesses, let your good reputation serve as a motivator for you to try to improve yourself.

• A good reputation represents a great marketing strategy. When I find a service provider of any kind whose performance outsmarts their competitors, they become like bonanza to me. I use them repeatedly, recommend them enthusiastically to others, and don’t envy paying them what they’re worth.

• A good reputation inspires others. We all need positive feedback and a good reputation. That always help us to grow steadily


Some may think reputation doesn’t matter or shouldn’t matter, that we should all simply focus on doing our best. And let others think as they may. Certainly, I agree, we should never seek to manipulate what others think about us. It may work initially but it never works in the long run anyway.

There is a rider attached to it. We must not ignore the practical importance of a good reputation. In case we ignore it by being flaccid, then many opportunities we are bound to miss which we might otherwise enjoy.

Constantly caring about our reputation doesn’t mean we need others to like us or appreciate it. It means recognizing that as a human being, we also need it to grow in life. Good reputation is a panacea for life and everyone likes to carry a good reputation.

Prof. Surinder Kochhar (Shaun)
LPN, FCN, M.Com, CAIIB, DIM A freelance writer with 36 Years Exp. A Health Coach of University of Victoria