Your reputation is everything. It defines you and influences how others view you and respond to you. If you do something to harm your work reputation--throw frequent temper tantrums, get drunk at the company picnic, cheat--it can have long-lasting and far-reaching consequences for your career.
How do you rebuild your reputation when you've harmed it in the workplace?
Consider the following 5 steps to begin the rebuilding process.
1. Understand and recognize the problem. The first thing you need to do is recognize and take
responsibility for what happened without blaming others. You alone are responsible for your behavior and actions. You also need to understand the problem. Do you have an anger management issue? Or do you have a drinking problem? Or difficulties responding to authority?
2. Seek help. Once you've identified the problem you need to seek out support and help. This might come in the form of professional therapy, a self-help group, or through a mentoring relationship.
3. Make amends. Seek out those you might have offended or hurt by your behavior and apologize and seek to restore the relationship.
4. Demonstrate humility. It might take some time before you are able to return to the level you were previously at in your career. You might take a pay cut or work in a position with fewer responsibilities. You need to humbly accept the position you now find yourself in and strive to use it to make you more effective and better in your work and career.
5. Do great work. Finally, you must do your very best work and demonstrate excellence in everything you do. Others will respond to the humble way you go about your work and the great job you do. This recognition will begin to turn around your reputation.
It is not easy to rebuild your reputation but with some patience, humility, and hard work, you can restore the successful career you once had.