Establish Your Credibility

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Contrary to all weather forecasts that promised heavy rain today, the weather out there in New York is wonderful. It is supposed to go as high as 60 degrees, and those who brought along their umbrellas will have to carry them, useless, for the duration of the day, disappointed that the umbrella is good-for-nothing and happy because the weather is amazing.

Unlike weather forecasts, you should always be reliable and truthful. Even though you are still a student, you have to build up your resume and make first steps towards your career. To do well, you need to establish important connections that will get your foot in the door, and as you know, the more credible and responsible you are, the more likely people are to trust you, help you and even hire you.

If you object to this thinking that credibility is something that only established authors, journalists, businessmen etc. need, then you are mistaken. First of all, wouldn’t you like to be on of those people you are now looking up to? Secondly, these folks didn’t just become credible. Contrary to this, they went a long way to achieve their success. Working on making yourself reliable, a skill that you have to learn while you are still in college, is exactly what they had already gone through. And third, remember: when you present your resume to a potential employer, they always appreciate that you have work or internship experience in the industry. Accordingly, if you have references that portray you as a responsible person who can do any job quickly and painlessly, you will definitely be a better candidate for the position offered once the time comes.

As we now agree that credibility is a life-saving skill for you, here are some simple tips that will help you establish and maintain it on both professional and personal levels:

1. Make deadlines. If you don’t complete your work on time, it shows that you have poor time management skills, which presents you as an unreliable worker. Imagine that you sell calendars for the past year. The days of the week are not the same, and your product is of no use to people, so no one will buy it. As simple as that, if you are restricted by a deadline, your work is only good if it’s done on schedule.

Even if your job doesn’t depend on deadlines, it will always be appreciated if you complete your tasks in the order they come. Therefore, start with your school work. If the paper is due on Monday, hand it in on Monday or even earlier. Train yourself to respect deadlines, and be sure that you’ll be respected for that.

2. Keep your word. If you promised to do something, do it. If you failed your employer or friend once, he or she will neither believe you nor rely on you. One day I was walking down the street with a couple of friends, and we were drawn into a restaurant, where they promised a performance by comedians. While waiting, we ordered food and drinks from the menu. The performance was all right, but when we got the bill, we discovered that the price we were supposed to pay is twice as high as it was stated on the menu (a strong blow against my student savings). We complained, and they fixed the price for us, explaining that “it’s different upstairs and downstairs,” which we weren’t told when we ordered. No need to say that even though I paid the menu price, I am not coming back to that place ever again, even if they offer the best ever student discounts.

Hence, make it a habit to avoid empty promises. Don’t be afraid to say “no” if you feel like you won’t be able to do what you’re asked. It’s better if you let people know up front that you are not available for that than make them wait and lose their time hoping you’d do it. If they informed us that the price is actually higher for those who watch performance, we would have had a choice to pay it or leave, and we wouldn’t be so upset.

3. Allow extra time for things to happen. We all are human, and we can get sick, upset or incapable of doing our work due to stress. There are also natural disasters (God forbid), bad weather conditions and other events that are beyond our control. Therefore, don’t postpone your chores until the last moment. Finish your projects earlier, and there will be no additional worries if something unexpected will suddenly appear on your way.

Ekaterina Lalo

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