Warren Buffett, one of the world's most successful investors, is often quoted as follows: "It takes 20 years to build up a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” With this in mind, it may be time to approach things differently from now on. When it concerns your career, building up a reputation is just as important as building up your CV. And it's harder to change. How and where should you start? What should you bear in mind? These four steps help you on your way. 

be on time

Traffic jams exist, bridges can be open and your cat can get stuck in a tree. Things don't always go as planned, we know this. Don't be too hard on yourself when it comes to these exceptions. Don't let this become the rule and make sure you're on time.   According to a study, approximately 20% of the population is always late. The solution? According to researcher Diana DeLonzor (author of “Never Be Late Again”) you should be realistic about how much time commuter traffic takes you. Include extra buffer time, so you can be at work on time without any stress.  Prepare everything the evening before, so you can immediately get into action in the morning without unnecessary delays and diversions. Are you extra early? Enjoy this moment of Zen. It's a chance to start up gradually, or to catch up on something, in all peace and quiet.

suitable clothing

Dress codes exist for a reason. With a dress code you remove doubt and diversion. Dress appropriately and tidy for your job. If you work in the work clothing of your employer, then this won't be a problem. Do you, or are you going to, work in an office? Then take account of the corporate culture. Take a good look around you and take note of the clothes your colleagues wear. It's better to be safe than sorry, and opt for a safe, neutral outfit. In any case until you have a clear idea of what is and what isn't possible at your office. 


give your undivided attention

Does this sound impossible? We walk, we talk and we check our phones all the time. We're online all day. But which message does this give the people around you? They in fact deserve your undivided attention. Put your phone in your desk drawer and check it during breaks when you are alone. You will soon notice that this has a positive effect on your reputation. 

keep your promises

It's tempting to say yes to everything, especially in the beginning, to make a good first impression. Promising too much and not being able to live up to it is worse than saying no. The key; make sure there are clear expectations in advance. From the start of a project, check what is realistic and be clear about this, also during the project. It's not so bad if things go differently to what was expected, as long as this is communicated clearly.    

Do these four small things and you will immediately notice a change. Sometimes a small change is all you need for a big result. In this case: a reputation to be proud of.