Credibility, why you need it in your career. Part 1

It’s been living in my head for a long time now, but yet never really talked about it, except to a few younger colleagues who I sometimes treat like my own kids and try to teach them some life lessons.
I’m talking about the number one thing you need to have if you want to make it far in your career, and that thing is credibility.

Reason I’m making a post about it now is two-fold:

  • First reason is a reply of mine on a post of a good friend, Peter, about sales I think. My reply was about High Cred People and I received some positive responses, which gave me confidence to talk more about it.
  • Second reason is that my new coach, Murielle, made me do it.

How it started

The first time I heard about credibility is at the beginning of my career as Network Engineer at a well-known IT service provider and to give more background on the story I’m about to tell, you have to know that back in the days social media weren’t a thing yet (no words about my age please). When you wanted to share a joke, a funny movie or some 18+ content, the only way was by using email.

So, here I am, first weeks on the job, getting to know everyone, and after a while, the colleagues put me into the “private” distribution list (for the younger ones between the readers, it’s an email group), and a lot of “fun” things were exchanged. At first I just passively enjoyed every content I received, but then I decided to join the party and started to send emails myself.
Weeks go by, work my ass off, lots of parties, send a lot of emails, life’s great.

Until the day a colleague of mine comes to me and tells me that I sent “one of those emails” to the wrong distribution list, one where my N+2 was in…
Didn’t take long before I was “op het matje geroepen” as we say in Flemish, meaning I was called to his office “to have a word”.
I was of course shitting my pants, I was still a young adult after all and it was the first time I would get to have a talk with a higher superior.
Well, it wasn’t all that bad after all…

He started by saying that it wasn’t really professional of me to send these kind of emails (which is true), and that I should be careful because I don’t have enough… credibility… in this firm yet. I didn’t get it at first – I’m wired like that; it takes some time before I understand what the meaning is behind words – What did he mean by that? What is credibility and why does it matter in my case?
And then it clicked.

Based on this experience and his words, my very first understanding of credibility was basically: the more you have it, the more you are allowed to do. So in a way, credibility gives some kind of (temporary) immunity, sort of a Get of Jail Free Card that gives you power to make some mistakes. In other words, credibility is next to money and knowledge, also power.

And how can you achieve more credibility?
You will need to read part 2 coming soon 🙂


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