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Manage your own reputation

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Cultivating a professional image through impression management is the focus of new research from Harvard Business School professor Laura Morgan Roberts, who pointedly states that “if you aren’t managing your own professional image, someone else is.”

She advocates taking a proactive approach to impression management using the following strategies:

  • Do an honest assessment. Consider honestly how you are currently perceived, and how this perception aligns with the expectations for your profession.
  • Name your ideal. Determine how you’d like to be perceived. Focus on the character traits you want people to associate with you.
  • Analyze the cost and benefit of change. Spend time thinking through whether the cost of overhauling your image is worth the benefits you’ll gain.

— Adapted from “Creating a Positive Professional Image,” Mallory Stark, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge blog, Harvard Business School, hbswk.hbs.edu.

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