Not sure what your colleagues and clients think of you at work? Unless you've been flying under the radar, there's a solid chance you've got a workplace reputation — whether that's that you're the super punctual one, the go-to person for all things tech, the gossiper or something else entirely.
Your professional reputation is important because it can affect your ability to maintain and get a job — that's because it can affect how other professionals both in your job and in your industry as a whole view you.
If you're in tune with your workplace, communicate with your colleagues and self-aware, you probably already know your workplace reputation. But here are eight signs that you're not self-aware about it (and should become more aware).
1. Your colleagues always come to you for specific situations and you're not sure why.
If your colleagues are constantly coming to you to help them fix their email settings or reboot their computers or something else technology-related, it's probably because they know you as the go-to person for all things tech. If you're a tech-savvy person, that might be your reputation. Meanwhile, if they're always coming to you for help with campaign slogans or company fundraiser ideas, perhaps they consider you the witty, creative one on the team.
2. Your colleagues never ask for your help, even in your expertise.
If your colleagues are never coming to you for help, even if the help is something in which you can certainly lend a hand, it may be because they don't trust you. Perhaps you don't have the best reputation, or you're known for being lazy or for falling short, and that's why they ask someone other than you for help. For example, if they need help crafting an email to pitch clients, and that's your job, but they ask someone else on the sales team who happens to be a decent writer for help instead, that's not a good sign.
3. Your colleagues never include you at informal company outings.
If your colleagues are never inviting you to happy hours, lunches or other informal get-togethers, this could be a cause for concern. Perhaps you're unaware that you don't have the greatest reputation — and they may not want you around after hours. That, or you may be known as the quiet one who doesn't seem all that interested, so they don't bother asking. Either way, this is not a reputation you'd like to have at work.
4. Your colleagues always ask you to plan company outings, and you're not sure why.
If your colleagues are always asking you to plan company outings, it may be because you've got the reputation of the motherly one. If you're constantly being asked to take on mother-manager duties like managing everyone's schedules for them to plan an after-work party that has nothing to do with your actual job role — just because you're so good at it — you might be considered the "office mom."
5. Your colleagues always come to you about gossip.
If everyone comes to you to talk about gossip, they might assume it's because you've got the scoop. Maybe they've heard that you know something about someone, or they know that you can get the details on whatever is going on in the office. Whatever the case, you never want to be known as the office gossiper.
6. Your colleagues make jokes about you, and you're not sure why.
If your colleagues are always calling you nicknames like brown noser, for example, it may be because you've got the reputation of kissing up to the leaders in the company. Meanwhile, if they're always making jokes about your arsenal of random facts, perhaps it's because they know you as the person in the office who'd win jeopardy every time.
7. You're passed up for promotions.
If you're regularly passed up for promotions or passed up by someone in the office who isn't as qualified or hasn't been with the company as long as you, it may be because you don't have as professional a reputation as them. Of course, it may be wrongful of the company, too. But there could be a legitimate reason that they didn't pick you, and that's concerning.
8. You're promoted unexpectedly.
If you're suddenly promoted and didn't see it coming yourself, maybe your company values your work more than you thought. Perhaps you have a better standing and a more impressive reputation than you even believed yourself.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report,